Opinion editorial by Rep. Steve O’Ban: Listening to constituents, pragmatic solutions are goals of representing the 28th District

 

January 22, 2013

CONTACT: Bobbi Cussins, Public Information Officer – (360) 786-7252
                     

Listening to constituents, pragmatic solutions are goals of representing the 28th District


By Rep. Steve O’Ban

As your newly-elected state representative in the 28th Legislative District, I am excited to serve the more than 130,000 people I represent. I have spent nearly my entire life in this area and my wife, Laurie, and I raised our two sons, now serving in the Army, right here. I look forward to serving all the communities that make up our beautiful part of Washington state.

The biggest part of that service is listening to you. I encourage you to contact my office at (360) 786-7890 or Steve.O’Ban@leg.wa.gov with questions, concerns and solutions related to the many challenges we face. You can sign up to receive my periodic legislative e-mail updates at www.houserepublicans.wa.gov/steve-oban.

For those of you planning to visit Olympia, please call my office to schedule a time to meet with me. My door is always open and my legislative aide, Russell Krantz, will be sure to find a mutually agreeable time for us to meet.

The 2013 legislative session began January 14 and is scheduled to run 105 consecutive days, with the final day being April 28. This year, the major topics will again be the state operating budget, which is facing a spending gap of roughly $900 million, and how the Legislature complies with the state Supreme Court ruling on the McCleary v. State education funding case.

The good news is that revenues are predicted to increase nearly $2 billion for the 2013-15, two-year budget cycle. This means you and I, along with all the employers in the state, will be paying more for state government. My priority will be making sure your hard-earned tax dollars are spent wisely and in a manner that puts the most important government functions first: K-12 education, public safety and services for the most vulnerable.

I have been assigned to serve on three House committees: Judiciary, where I am the assistant ranking member, Transportation and Business and Financial Services.

Besides the state operating budget and education funding, finding ways to address major transportation chokepoints, including the Joint Base Lewis-McChord area of Interstate 5, is part of my agenda. Anyone who has been stuck in that stretch of highway knows there can be traffic back-ups that go on for miles. There has to be a way to make our transportation infrastructure more efficient for commuters, businesses moving goods to market and our soldiers.

The transportation budget is separate from the operating budget and it is funded mainly from state gas tax collections. These funds are spent to repair, build and update our highways and byways to keep people moving. I know there will be a lot of discussion on ways to meet the growing infrastructure demands, particularly funding modernizations and repairs. I hope you will share your thoughts with me on the best way to reform and fund this infrastructure.

Finally, I truly believe representative government means always listening to those who you represent. The best solutions are non-partisan and come from the people. Working together, we can solve any challenge and meet the high expectations citizens have for their government.

I look forward to working alongside you.

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Rep. Steve O’Ban, R-28th Legislative District, was elected last November to serve his first two-year term in the Washington State House of Representatives. He is an attorney by trade and is known for offering free legal services to low- and no-income residents.

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Washington State House Republican Communications
www.houserepublicans.wa.gov
455 John L. O’Brien Building
P.O. Box 40600
Olympia, WA 98504-0600