Kristin Olsen

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Kristin Olsen
Kristin Olsen Picture.jpg
Minority Leader of the
California State Assembly
In office
November 6, 2014 – January 4, 2016
Preceded by Connie Conway
Succeeded by Chad Mayes
Member of the California State Assembly
from the 12th district
25th district (2010–2012)
In office
December 6, 2010 – November 30, 2016
Preceded by Tom Berryhill
Succeeded by Heath Flora
Modesto City Councillor
from the 5th District
In office
December 21, 2005 – December 6, 2010
Preceded by Denny Jackman
Succeeded by Stephanie Burnside
Personal details
Born (1974-01-19) January 19, 1974 (age 42)
Modesto, California
Nationality American
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Rod Olsen
Residence Riverbank, California
Alma mater Westmont College

Kristin Olsen (born January 19, 1974)[1] is an American politician who served in the California State Assembly representing the 12th district. She is a Republican. Prior to being elected to the state assembly, she was a member of the Modesto City Council.


Olsen was elected to the Modesto City Council in 2005, and re-elected in 2009. While on the City Council, Olsen served as a member of the Safety & Communities Committee and as Vice Chair of the Finance Committee. Prior to this Olsen served as Vice Chair of the Finance Committee and was a member of the Safety & Communities Committee.

In addition to serving on the City Council, Olsen directed marketing and communications programs as Assistant Vice President for Communications & Public Affairs at California State University, Stanislaus. Furthermore, Olsen has served on the Modesto Citizens Housing and Community Development Committee, as well as on the Modesto City Planning Commission.[2]

California State Assembly[edit]

Olsen was elected to the California State Assembly in 2010. She received the plurality of votes in the June Republican primary contested by six candidates.[3] In the November 2010 General Election, Olsen received 100% of the vote for the 25th district and won easily won reelection for her seat in 2012.[4]

In 2013, following a failed vote to remove the sitting Assembly Republican Minority Leader, Connie Conway, Olsen was stripped of her larger capitol office and moved to one of the smallest offices used by Assembly Members. The move was perceived to be a retaliation by Conway in response to Olsen be touted as a potential successor for the Minority Leader position.[5]

Olsen was praised for being one of eight Republican Assembly Members to release her office operating budget during a controversy between the Speaker of the Assembly John A. Perez and Assemblyman Anthony Portantino. Portantino had alleged that Speaker Perez reduced the operating budget for Portantino's office in retaliation for his "no" vote on the 2011-12 State budget. Portantino went on to release his office spending to the public while Perez and the Assembly Rules committee refused to release the budgets for all of the Assembly despite Public Record requests from newspapers.

Olsen was one of the first Republican members that responded by releasing their office spending in defense of the principal of government transparency. The Sacramento Bee and Modesto Bee, among other newspapers, praised Olsen for being willing to open her budget to public scrutiny claiming that citizens deserve the right to know how their money is being spent.[6][7]

Olsen was named a 2014 Aspen Institute Rodel Fellow.[8]

Olsen visiting a school classroom

2014 California State Assembly[edit]

California's 12th State Assembly district election, 2014
Primary election
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Kristin Olsen (incumbent) 38,892 67.5
Democratic Harinder Grewal 18,742 32.5
Total votes 57,634 100.0
General election
Republican Kristin Olsen (incumbent) 63,003 67.2
Democratic Harinder Grewal 30,752 32.8
Total votes 93,755 100.0
Republican hold

Committee membership[edit]

Olsen is currently the Vice Chair of both the Education and Agriculture Committees. She is also a member of the Insurance, Higher Education and Accountability and Administrative Review Committees.[9]

Legislative activities[edit]

During 2012, Olsen introduced a controversial bill that would ban teachers from having romantic relationships with a student regardless of whether the student was over 18, the age of consent in California. Teachers who violated the ban could face prosecution for a felony and lose their state funded retirement pension. The bill was in response to a Modesto high school teacher who left his wife and children for one of his students following her 18th birthday.[10] While the proposed bill received a substantial amount of media coverage, the bill ultimately failed to get any votes in the Assembly Public Safety committee and was defeated.[11]

Olsen introduced the Legislative Transparency Act during the 2012 Legislative Session which would have required potential legislation to be reviewable online for public viewing at least 72 hours prior to being voted on. Olsen's bill would have stopped the popular practice utilized by Assembly and Senate Democrats where legislation is introduced and passed simultaneously thus nullifying the normal vetting and public review process.[12] This process has been utilized to pass bills with wide ranging and substantial policy effects in recent years. Assembly Democrats defeated the bill in the Elections Committee hearing on a 2-2 vote with 2 committee members abstaining.[13]


  1. ^ Assembly Member Kristin Olsen of California
  2. ^
  3. ^ United States of America. California Secretary of State. California Secretary of State. By Debra Bowen. California Secretary of State, 8 June 2010. Web. 10 August 2011 <"Archived copy". Archived from the original on August 11, 2011. Retrieved August 10, 2011. >
  4. ^ United States of America. California Secretary of State. California Secretary of State. By Debra Bowen. California Secretary of State, 2 November 2010. Web. 10 August 2011. <"Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on October 18, 2012. Retrieved November 19, 2012. >.
  5. ^ Sanders, Jim. "Capitol Alert: Kristin Olsen to move to smaller office after failed GOP move". Retrieved 2014-05-14. 
  6. ^ [1] Archived March 20, 2012, at the Wayback Machine.
  7. ^ [2][dead link]
  8. ^ "About the Rodel Fellowship Program". 
  9. ^ "Kristin Olsen | Committee Membership". Retrieved 2014-05-14. 
  10. ^ "Mom of California Teen Living With Teacher Pushes for Bill Banning Student-Teacher Dating - ABC News". 2012-03-28. Retrieved 2014-05-14. 
  11. ^ [3] Archived April 29, 2012, at the Wayback Machine.
  12. ^ "California Legislature's gut-and-amend bills avoid scrutiny". Retrieved 2014-05-14. 
  13. ^ Sanders, Jim. "Capitol Alert: Bill to require more legislative transparency dies in Assembly". Retrieved 2014-05-14. 

External links[edit]