Rep. Dave Paul grew up in Enumclaw, Washington. His father was a shop steward and his mother was a para-educator and small business owner. He graduated from Seattle University and then earned a master’s degree from Miami University (Ohio) and a doctorate from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Dave is an experienced educator. He has taught in higher education for over 25 years, most recently helping students at Skagit Valley College where he has served for 16 years. He is currently the Director of Community Relations. Dave has a background in helping non-traditional students navigate a changing employment landscape, and he serves on the Island County Economic Development Council.

In addition to his experience with higher education, Dave also has significant experience with K-12 schools. Dave served on his local school board in Ohio.

Dave’s legislative priorities include:

  • Reducing the costs of higher education by creating the summer Running Start program. High school juniors and seniors can get a head start on college—and save money—by enrolling in tuition-free college courses in the summer term after their sophomore and junior year thanks to House Bill 1316 (2023). 
  • Making healthcare more affordable by capping the cost of epinephrine injectors (epi-pens) and inhalers at $35 for a 30-day supply – HB 1979 (2024). 
  • Improving mental health outcomes for young people in rural communities, including securing funding over the last three years for Island County to improve outreach and services to youth and children. 
  • Landmark legislation (HB 1700) to help local governments and ports remove abandoned boats from our waterways. This program will save taxpayers millions of dollars by removing these dangerous boats—before they can pollute our waterways. 
  • Serving as Vice Chair of the House Transportation Committee, and fighting for historic investments for Washington State Ferries in the Move Ahead WA transportation budget—including $196 million for hybrid electric vessel construction and terminal electrification, funding for 5 new hybrid electric ferries, $10 million to add two additional crew to each shift, $2.1 million to double the number of Able Bodied Sailors to Licensed Deck officers, $988,000 to increase dispatch staff, and $540,000 to increase the class size for New Mate Scholars.  
  • Key legislation to support veterans, active-duty personnel, and their families. HB 1007 (2023) ensures that veterans who serve our communities as teachers, firefighters and police officers are still able to earn the public employee retirement credits they are owed. HB 2543 (2020) grants in-state tuition for veterans and their children as they transition from military service to civilian life. HB 2544 (2020) ensures all armed service personnel who earned a campaign badge or campaign medal will receive full retirement benefits from the state of Washington.  
  • Improving public safety by funding more cohorts at the state’s law enforcement academy, cosponsoring legislation to increase the pay for Washington State Troopers, and strengthening the training and support for 911 first responders. 
  • Fixing our regressive tax system, including fighting for sales tax relief – HB 2018 (2021) – and advocating for property tax relief for our state’s working families. 

Dave serves as Vice Chair of the House Transportation Committee and as a member of the Innovation, Community & Economic Development & Veterans Committee, and the Postsecondary Education & Workforce Committee.

Dave and his wife have four children. They live in Oak Harbor with their two dogs.