Joe Fain is a Republican member of the Washington State Senate, representing the 47th Legislative District, which includes Auburn, Kent, Covington and Renton in South King County.
Fain, who is currently serving his first term after being elected in 2010, is the Senate majority floor leader and a member of the Majority Coalition Caucus’ leadership team.
Fain was born and raised in South King County. He received a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Washington and later earned a law degree and Masters of Business Administration from Seattle University. Fain coached high school swimming in the Renton and Highline School Districts and was recognized as the 2002 “Washington State Swim Coach of the Year.”
Fain previously served as the Chief of Staff for King County Councilmember Pete Von Reichbauer, who represents the 7th District that includes much of South and Southeast King County.
In 2008, Fain sponsored a successful initiative that sought to break through hyper-partisanship in King County government. Initiative 26 was supported by the Seattle Times, Seattle PI, Greater Seattle Chamber of Commerce, and the Municipal League of King County. It passed with 56% of the vote countywide, making the offices of King County Council, Executive and Assessor nonpartisan.
Senate Committees and Leadership Roles
Senator Fain is the youngest elected member of the Washington State Senate and serves on the Senate’s Transportation, Early Learning and K-12 Education, and Financial Institutions, Housing and Insurance committees. Fain also serves as vice-chair the Legislative Evaluations and Accountable Program which is the legislature’s source of budget data and analysis.
Prior to the 2013 session, Fain was elected as the Senate’s majority floor leader and named to the Senate majority’s leadership team, transportation budget leadership cabinet and Rules Committee.
In 2011, Fain worked with fellow South King County lawmakers to allocate funding to the King County Flood Control District for repairing homes and businesses damaged during extended flooding. In 2012, he secured additional money in the state’s capital construction budget for the Briscoe and Desimone levees.
Fain has also worked to secure transportation funding for new infrastructure throughout South King County aimed at increasing road capacity and improving freight mobility. The 2011 and 2012 transportation budgets included money for major thoroughfares like I-5, I-405, SR 167 and SR 18, in addition to surface street maintenance and safety improvements in Kent, Auburn and Covington.
In 2013, Fain spearheaded an effort to restore funding for state food assistance, which provides grocery money for low-income immigrant families. By working with Democratic and Republican colleagues he was able to secure an additional $9 million in the new state budget to increase benefits by 50 percent.
As majority floor leader, Fain was also successful at bringing the Safe Streets Bill up for a vote ahead of a deadline for passing legislation. The measure makes it simpler for cities to reduce speed limits on neighborhood streets, greatly improving public safety for pedestrians, bicyclists and other motorists.
The Legislature improved security at Washington’s courthouses through a plan co-sponsored and advocated by Fain. The bill increased the penalty for assault on courthouse property and allows judges to consider the location during sentencing. Fain worked with colleagues in the Legislature and Washington’s Attorney General Bob Ferguson to enact the changes.
A temporary increase of the state’s business and occupation and beer tax was scheduled to end in June 2013, but Washington’s governor and House of Representatives proposed making these permanent. With improving revenues and a growing state economy Fain worked with colleagues and stakeholders to ensure the increases ended as scheduled, reducing the burden on small- and medium-sized businesses statewide.
Fain serves on the board of directors for Auburn Youth Resources, the Auburn Public Schools Foundation, Sports in Schools and Highline Community College Foundation. He also served previously on the Multiservice Center Board and was a former designee board member to the Trade Development Alliance of Greater Seattle.
In 2011, Fain was recognized by the Kent Parent Teacher Association with the “Spirit of Community Award” for his support of public education, and Covington-Maple Valley Reporter newspaper as “Best Public Official.”
That year he was also honored by Congressman Dave Reichert on behalf of the Mountain to Sound Greenway Trust for his work to retain funding for the wildlife conservation program in the state budget.
In 2012, Fain was recognized as an “Emerging Leader on Developmental Disabilities” by the ARC of King County’s Parent Coalition for his work on supported employment legislation, which helps people with developmental disabilities find and retain jobs.
In 2012, Fain was also recognized as the Government Employee of the Year by the Kent Chamber of Commerce for his work to improve the business climate in South King County.
In 2013 Fain received the Fain was named a Legislative Champion by Children’s Alliance for his work to restore State Food Assistance.
In September 2013, Fain was chosen by the Washington Multi-Family Housing Association as "Legislator of the Year" for his work during the 2013 session on the group's policy priorities as well as the state budget.
The following month Fain was presented as "Legislator of the Year" by the Aerospace Futures Alliance for his work on multiple issues important to the industry. As Senate Floor Leader, Fain helped secure passage of a bill to streamline tax collection for commuter air carriers and helped negotiate a state budget that re-prioritized higher education.
Fain resides in Auburn, WA with his wife Steffanie.