Sen. Steve Hobbs, D-Lake Stevens, issued the following statement after learning of the passing of Sen. Jean Berkey. Berkey, who served 10 years in the legislature and six in the Senate, died Aug. 21 following a brief illness:
“Sen. Berkey was a great advocate for seniors, open government, affordable health care and education. We have lost a true champion for these important issues.
“Jean did a great deal to help me find my footing when I first arrived in Olympia. In her, I and other moderate Democrats found an experienced and effective legislator that we could model our own methods after.
“She was an original member of the Roadkill Caucus and helped shape our group’s priorities and made us an effective voice of reason in a sometimes overly partisan environment.
“Jean Berkey was what a legislator should be – attentive, willing to compromise and passionate.”