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Angel, lawmakers begin 2013 session

District 26 State Rep. Jan Angel is ready for the challenges facing the state Legislature this coming year.

Angel, who is in her third term, said there’s plenty of issues facing lawmakers in 2013 — especially with transportation and healthcare.

The State Legislature convened Jan. 14 for their 105-day session that is set to end April 28.

Angel, who remains on the House Transportation Committee, feels transportation is a big issue facing lawmakers.

“We are going to have to be looking at some type of transportation revenue package, whether it happens this session or the planning for next session,” Angel said. “We can’t do it the way we’re doing it.”

She said a plan is needed just to preserve and maintain the roads and highways.

“I’ve traveled all over the area and that seems to be the common thread,” Angel said. “If we’re looking for revenue, it will be for preservation and maintenance.”

She was also named to the House Health Care and Wellness Committee, which considers legislation related to health care, health insurance, pharmaceutical drugs and licensing of health care facilities.

Angel said she feels healthcare is going to be a “hot potato” this year.

“Healthcare is just a moving target and we’re trying to figure out how we are going to actually finance the changes planned with it,” she said.

Angel said lawmakers don’t have a “clear model” for healthcare to follow.

“We are it and that is going to be interesting,” she said.

This year, several committees were juggled around and Angel was appointed as the ranking Republican to the new Community Development, Housing and Tribal Affairs Committee.

The new committee will consider issues related to community development, veterans, parks and recreation, tourism, and government relationships between the state and Indian tribes. It also considers bills relating to accessibility and affordability of housing.

“I’m looking forward to working with new committee members during the session,” Angel said.

She said tourism is a vital part of the Kitsap Peninsula economy.

“I will be looking for opportunities to promote tourism, job creation and a better quality of life in our local communities and state,” Angle said.

Angel’s experience as a realtor, past chair and board member of the Kitsap County Consolidated Housing Authority is a good fit dealing with housing issues.

A new area for Angel is Tribal Affair, but she’ll have the benefit of State Rep. John McCoy, a Tulalip tribal member, working on the committee with her.

Before the session began, Angel sent out to all tribal chiefs, council members and leaders, asking for a one page summary on their concerns.

“I want to get a feel on what issues they are facing,” Angel said.

During the first week of the session, state lawmakers attended briefings on different issues.

“They’ll try to get us up to date on where everything is currently,” said Angel.

Since being elected in 2009, Angel said she’s been involved in four regular and six special sessions during her two-term period.

Now after serving four years in the Legislature, Angel feels she has some experience.

“It takes awhile to learn the ropes in Olympia,” Angel said.

Angel and lawmakers will have to deal with a $1 billion budget shortfall for the upcoming two-year budget and working with a new governor — Jay Inslee — who took office Jan. 16.

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