Sen. O’Ban’s E-newsletter – April 22, 2015

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Legislative Update – April 22, 2015

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Friends and Neighbors,

This Friday at 10:00am on the Senate Floor, I will be offering a resolution to honor businesses that have made a commitment to train, recruit and hire veterans entering the private sector.  Six hundred thousand veterans reside in Washington, and approximately 9,000 are leaving Joint Base Lewis-McChord and other installations each year.

The unemployment rate for veterans is far higher than their civilian counterparts, former military personnel between the ages of eighteen and twenty-five is far higher, approximately twenty-one percent. These highly motivated women and men possess exemplary work ethics and superb skills, including expertise in leading others, health care, technology, and logistics.

It is my hope these exemplary companies will serve as a model to other employers in the state of Washington to make a special effort to recruit and hire our able and well-deserving veterans.

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Tacoma News Tribune highlights my legislation sending sex offenders back to their county of origin

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Monday the House approved, House Bill 1059. I amended the bill to keep Pierce County from becoming the dumping ground for sexually violent predators released from the Special Commitment Center on McNeil Island. The bill requires judges to return these offenders to the county they came from unless special circumstances exist, rather than Pierce County where many were ending up. The legislation is headed to the governor’s desk.

You can read the News Tribune article here.

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House’s Seattle-centric transportation package no deal for Pierce County

I recently authored an opinion piece in the News Tribune that discusses the House of Representatives recent transportation proposal. The Senate unveiled a plan early in the session that required essential reforms, and importantly for our district, addressed congestion on Interstate 5 along Joint Base Lewis-McChord. I was able to secure funding for this project that would increase mobility and economic growth for the area. Unfortunately, the House transportation package not only strips away many of the reforms we adopted, but shifts funding to Seattle, which has more than its share of major transportation projects.

Please click here to read my guest column.

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Pierce County ferry system funding ensured with bill’s passage

State law limits funding to counties that operate their own ferry systems and population growth has meant added pressure to Pierce County and funding has not kept up with inflation. Our county runs the ferry to Anderson Island. I sponsored Senate Bill 5307 which increases the cap and ties future funding for the county’s ferries to inflation. Pierce County will receive between $200,000 and $300,000 as a result of this legislation which is heading to the governor’s desk.

Please click here to read a story on this bill.

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It is an honor to represent you as your state Senator. Please don’t hesitate to contact my office at (360)786-7654 if I can be of service to you or your family with issues pertaining to Washington State government.

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Steve O’Ban

28th District Senator

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Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.

– Sir Winston Churchill

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