A History of Service

During her many years of public service, Lois Wolk has earned a reputation as a problem solver by successfully tackling difficult issue areas, including water, transportation, elder abuse, health, political reform, and flood management.

In 2008, Lois Wolk was elected to represent the Fifth Senate District, which included most of Solano and Yolo Counties, as well as parts of San Joaquin and Sacramento County. In 2012, Wolk was re-elected to the Senate to represent the newly redrawn Third Senate District, which includes all of Napa and Solano Counties, most of Yolo County, several cities in Sonoma and Contra Costa Counties, and a portion of Sacramento County.

Senator Wolk chairs the Senate Governance and Finance Committee, the Agriculture Subcommittee on Olive Oil Production and Emerging Products, and the Select Committee on Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. She also serves on numerous committees, including the Senate Standing Committees on Agriculture; Energy, Utilities and Communications; Health; and Natural Resources and Water.

Senator Wolk is also a liaison advisor to the Delta Conservancy Board, tasked with supporting efforts that advance both environmental protection and the economic well-being of Delta residents. Additionally, she serves on the California Wildlife Conservation Board’s Legislative Advisory Committee, helping to allocate funding for important environmental projects throughout the state.

To see a complete list of the Senator’s committee membership, click here.

Over her 11 years serving in the State Legislature, Wolk has authored 103 new laws. In 2007, Wolk led efforts to craft a package of laws to strengthen flood protection in California’s Central Valley and Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta region, authoring two bills in the package. In 2008, she authored a law providing seriously ill patients with a new mechanism – Physicians Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment (POLST) – to ensure that their wishes are honored regarding their end-of-life care.

Other highlights include Wolk’s legislation to:

  • Establish a statewide immunization registry to ensure that more children are immunized;
  • Increase consumer access to clean and affordable renewable energy;
  • Mandates bank employees to report elder financial abuse to law enforcement;
  • Ensure the long-term stability of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta; and
  • Improve safety on a treacherous stretch of State Highway Route 12.

To read more about legislation authored by Wolk, click here.

Prior to her election to the State Senate, Wolk served three terms—from 2002 to 2008—as the representative for the Eighth Assembly District.  She was the first woman to chair the Assembly Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee, and used her four-year chairmanship to bring heightened attention to important topics including flood protection, the crisis in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, water management and climate change, land use, state parks, fisheries, and invasive species.


Numerous organizations have honored Wolk for her public service.

The California Journal awarded Wolk the "Golden Pedigree" by for her integrity, trustworthiness, and personal ethics.  Wolk has also been honored for her leadership in water policy and flood management, and for her work to improve safety conditions on State Highway Route 12; prevent elder abuse; and support preservation of parks, recreation, open space, and conservation.

To see a complete list of the Senators awards and recognition, click here.


Wolk built a long record of community and public service before serving in the State Legislature. A resident of Davis since 1978, she won a seat on the Davis City Council in 1990, and served two terms as Mayor from 1992-94 and 1996-98. While on the City Council, Wolk led the effort to build the Sutter Davis Hospital and the University Retirement Community. She spearheaded the formation of the Economics and Finance Commission and the Open Space Commission. She also led the efforts to preserve and restore Putah Creek.

From 1998 to 2002, Wolk served as Yolo County Supervisor. As a supervisor, she led the effort to create a Multi-Disciplinary Interview Center for abused children, a Crisis Nursery, the Yolo County Children’s Alliance, and the first Tree Plan for Yolo County. During her tenure, the Board successfully funded a new Juvenile Hall and revised the County's Agricultural Zoning Ordinance to preserve Yolo's prime agricultural land.

Wolk earned her B.A. from Antioch College in 1968, and an M.A. from Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies in 1971. She has taught History, Social Studies, and French in grades 7 through 12 in both public and private schools. She is married to Bruce Wolk, Professor of Law and Dean Emeritus at UC Davis Law School. They have two grown sons, five granddaughters, and a grandson.