Rep. Jan Angel, R-Port Orchard, has been appointed as ranking Republican to the new Community Development, Housing and Tribal Affairs Committee in the state House of Representatives. The announcement was made this week by House Republican Leader Rep. Richard DeBolt, R-Chehalis.
The committee considers issues relating 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. Angel said the committee fits very well with her experience as a Realtor, past chair and board member of the Kitsap County Consolidated Housing Authority, past president of the Port Orchard Chamber of Commerce, and eight years of service as a Kitsap County commissioner.
“I’m thrilled to be the House Republican leader on this new committee. Tourism is a vital part of the economy for the Kitsap Peninsula. I will be looking for opportunities to promote tourism, job creation, and a better quality of life in our local communities and throughout the state,” said Angel.
“I’m particularly interested that this is the primary committee in the House that will be addressing veterans’ issues,” added Angel. “With the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard in Bremerton and Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor in our backyard, we have a large population of retired veterans and active military personnel throughout the Twenty-Sixth District. I plan to be a strong voice on this committee in support of our veterans and the men and women in uniform who serve our country.”
The 26th District lawmaker 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.
“There are many people concerned about the effects of federal health care legislation, especially employers who are worried about increased costs. I will be working from within this committee to find the best ways for the state to navigate through the new system, with the goal of providing affordable, accessible quality health care, while keeping costs down and minimizing risks to jobs,” said Angel. “At the same time, I will be fighting to protect access to health care and prescription drugs for our senior citizens and those with disabilities.”
In addition, Angel will remain on the House Transportation Committee.
“It’s vital for my district to have a watchdog on this committee that will protect our local transportation interests. I’m very concerned that every time tolls are increased on the Tacoma Narrows Bridge, traffic decreases. If this trend continues, we’ll not have the revenue to pay off the bridge. The financing on the Tacoma Narrows Bridge must be reviewed and we need to come up with some long-term solutions other than making tolls so unaffordable that no one will cross this span,” noted Angel.
“In addition, we’ve got to stop treating state ferries like the ugly step-child of our transportation system. Washington ferries are our state’s marine highways. We don’t close Washington’s highways in lean budget years. Neither should we do the same for our ferries. We’ve got to get people across the water to work. To do that, we need reasonable, realistic and consistent ferry routes that remain open to the public,” added Angel.
Angel can be reached through her district office in Port Orchard at 360-443-2409. During the legislative session, she maintains an office in Olympia. That phone number is 360-786-7964.
The 2013 legislative session begins Jan. 14 and is scheduled for 105 days.