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Washington Fraternal Order of Police award O’Ban with 2014 ‘Legislator of the Year’

Published on April 22, 2014

Steve OBan Award

“We owe our first responders so much gratitude for their service and dedication. They are on the front lines of our communities keeping our families safe 24/7. It is such an honor to receive the 2014 Legislator of the Year from the Washington State Fraternal Order of Police. I will display this award proudly in my Senate office.”

~ Senator Steve O’Ban


O’Ban’s leadership praised for work to bring new UW Law School to Tacoma

Published on April 6, 2014

In the News
The News Tribune


JMCaptureCongratulations, Tacoma. With the vision of a few, it looks like a law school might be on the horizon for the city.

Valarie Zeeck and volunteers who worked with her deserve a huge thank you for getting the ball rolling. State Sen. Steve O’Ban then helped bring this vision into sharper focus by obtaining $450,000 in state seed money to move the project to the next level. I don’t know O’Ban personally, but I believe he deserves our gratitude for making a law school in Tacoma possible again.

Both O’Ban and I are graduates of the University of Puget Sound Law School. Both of us understand how important that institution was for the entire South Sound and how a University of Washington Tacoma Law School can again fill that important role.

Click here to read the full article.


Study veto a blow to revenue in Pierce County

Published on April 4, 2014

During the budget bill signing ceremony today, Gov. Jay Inslee put at odds millions in economic growth and revenue for Pierce County by eliminating an impact study of the upcoming US Open golf tournament being held at Chambers Bay in 2015. The study would have tracked the anticipated spike in sales tax revenue from the US Open and made it easier for the county to show that additional state funding would be justified to help maintain the golf course and earn a repeat of the US Open in 5-7 years. The governor also vetoed a section of the transportation supplemental budget directing the Washington State Patrol to help with traffic control at the event.

“I’m disappointed the governor couldn’t see the big picture,” said Sen. Steve O’Ban, R-University Place. “This tournament will have an enormous positive economic impact on our county and region, three times greater than hosting a Super Bowl. If we can demonstrate the substantial revenue that would come from this event, then we can position ourselves to host the event again in another 5-7 years.” Read more…


Veterans gain college credit for military service under new law – governor signs O’Ban bill

Published on April 2, 2014

Senator O’Ban calls college credit law ‘one of the most important things we can do to help veterans transition into civilian life.’

Washington’s veterans have a new way to gain recognition for their service while accessing the benefits of a college degree. Governor Jay Inslee today signed into law Senate Bill 5969  which grants academic credit for military training. State Sen. Steve O’Ban, R-Pierce County, who sponsored the legislation, called the new law a major benefit for veterans, “who often face hardships as they transition back into civilian life and need to build new careers.”

The law now requires Washington’s colleges and universities to adopt policies on awarding academic credit to individuals for certain military training courses or programs by the year 2016. There are currently 22,000 veterans, active-duty personnel and their dependents enrolled in Washington’s community and technical colleges and the University of Washington has 1,344 enrolled veterans alone.

“We ask so much of our brave men and women in uniform,” said O’Ban, whose two sons serve in the military, “They’ve made life and death decisions, mastered complicated information technology and communication systems and managed millions of dollars’ worth of equipment. This is valuable training and work they’ve accomplished and worthy of college credit.”

Tom Jenkins, President of the Husky United Military Veterans heralded the signing. “I’m very excited about this bill. This is the biggest thing for veterans as it directly recognizes their accomplishments. It says ‘thank you’ for being a medical professional, or being an engineer, for example. For those who choose to continue in their field of training this is a great opportunity,” Jenkins said.

O’Ban thanked Mark San Souci from the Department of Defense, members of the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges, and Alfie Alvardo-Ramos, director of the Washington State Department of Veteran Affairs for their work to pass the landmark legislation. “From the beginning there was strong consensus that military training should count toward a college degree,” said O’Ban. “Many veteran organizations are on the front lines with military members who are struggling to build a new career and to transition into civilian life. This is an open door for new opportunities.”

Among the law’s requirements, the individual must be enrolled in college and must have successfully completed any military training course or program as part of the individual’s military service that meets certain criteria. In addition, each institution of higher education must provide a copy of its newly-created policy to any enrolled students who listed prior or present military service in their admission applications.

“There are so many ways to give back to our veterans who have put their lives on the line for our freedoms,” said O’Ban, “Opening the door to a college education is a great way to say ‘thank you.”

According to Defense Manpower Data Center, 11,173 service members left the military in 2013 and made Washington state their home and more than 600,000 veterans call Washington home.


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