State Sen. Andy Hill, R-Redmond, chief Senate budget writer, dies of lung cancer at 54

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Sen. Andy Hill, the key budget writer for the Washington state Senate, has died of lung cancer. He was 54.

Hill died Monday surrounded by his family, according to a statement released by his colleague, fellow Republican Sen. Joe Fain.

He was currently serving a second term following his re-election in 2014.

In 2013, Hill was selected as the chief budget writer and negotiator in the Senate and has been the architect and a sponsor of the past two state operating budgets that invested an additional $4.6 billion into K-12 education and cut tuition at Washington’s public universities and colleges for the first time in state history.

Hill served as chairman of the Senate Ways and Means Committee and was a member of the Senate Early Learning and K-12 Education Committee. In 2011 and 2012, Hill held the position of ranking member on the Senate Higher Education Committee.

Hill was born in Denver, Colorado, and attended Colgate University where he graduated with a degree in physics with an additional concentration in computer science/mathematics. Hill later earned his master’s degree in business administration from Harvard University.

In 1990, Hill  moved to Washington state to work for Microsoft where he designed and managed the development of new software. In addition to working on Windows ‘95, Hill developed learning and content delivery platforms for K-12 schools.

Hill, who never smoked, was first diagnosed in 2009. The cancer ultimately spread to his lymph nodes and his other lung even after chemotherapy and radiation. After participating in a clinical trial at the University of Colorado Cancer Center, Hill had been cancer-free since early 2010. However, in June, he announced that he was battling a recurrence, but that he would begin chemotherapy and additional treatment.

Gov. Jay Inslee issued this statement, "I am deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Senator Andy Hill. Trudi and I extend our condolences to Molly, their three children, and Andy’s family and friends. Senator Hill was dedicated legislator who served with distinction. He was a strong champion for education and a compassionate advocate for people with disabilities. His voice in Olympia will be missed."