Sharon R. Brown was appointed 8th District state senator in February 2013 and was elected by voters later that year to a full four-year term.
In 2014, Sharon was chosen by her colleagues to serve as Vice President Pro Tempore of the Senate, one of two members elected by the Senate to preside over the chamber during the absence of the Lieutenant Governor. She is currently the Deputy Leader of Senate Republican Caucus.
Since her arrival in the Legislature, Sharon has been a vocal advocate for employers and the Senate’s leading voice for regulatory reform, working tirelessly to make it easier for entrepreneurs and small-business owners to grow, expand and hire more workers.
In 2013, she shepherded through the Legislature two bills aimed at improving the regulatory environment for Washington businesses. During the 2014 legislative session, Sharon continued her work on behalf of small business and those Washingtonians looking for work by introducing a bill aimed at increasing transparency and predictability in permitting. The Transparency in Permitting Act received broad bipartisan support and the House version of the bill was signed into law.
More recently, Sharon successfully led her colleagues in passing the Residential Construction Recovery Act, which helps residential builders defer payment of impact fees. She is also the creator of the Invest in Washington jobs pilot program, which provides an incentive for businesses to invest in machinery equipment, and job-force training for manufacturing projects by allowing them to defer taxes and use that money up front when they need it most. The program was enacted and funded through the state’s 2015-17 biennial budget.
A state and national leader on energy issues, Sharon is the legislature’s top champion for nuclear power. As a member of the Washington State Joint Select Task Force on Nuclear Energy, she introduced several measures aimed at supporting nuclear education and preparing the state to attract more economic development and jobs tied to the nuclear power industry and the growing technology of Small Modular Reactors (SMRs).
Prior to joining the Legislature, Sharon served 22 years as a business attorney. She also served as a Kennewick City Councilwoman and the former Mayor Pro Tem for the City of Kennewick.