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Baily seeks third term in Olympia

Barbara Bailey hopes to spend another two years working on such pet issues as affordable health care and responsible state spending if voters return her to Olympia in November.

The Republican State Representative from Oak Harbor announced last week to a breakfast gathering at the Elks Club that she will seek a third, two-year term as a 10th District representative.

Bailey has spent part of her first two terms working to “legalize affordable insurance,” as she describes it. Her bill would allow employers to offer insurance to their workers that does included all the required coverage in effect today, but would provide basic insurance at less cost. The past legislative session the effort failed again, but the ever-optimistic Bailey is not deterred. “We got closer than we’ve ever been,” she said.

As a Republican working in a body dominated by Democrats, Bailey has learned the value of patience. “It’s always a little frustrating but our role is to point our our differences,” she said. “But there are so many things that are non-partisan, like affordable health insurance.”

Bailey has watched aghast as government spending has increased in the past few years as the state economy grows. “We need to reduce the size of government and make it accountable. Presently it’s not responsible,” she said.

When she spoke last week, economic projections suggested the state government would face a $750 million deficit when the Legislature convenes next January. However, that changed this week when the latest forecast shows there will be a surplus due to the statewide construction boom. Regardless, Bailey will continue to preach caution.

“Everyone knows we’re on a bubble in revenues,” she said. “The housing boom is showing signs of slowing.” She wants the state to “put more in the rainy day fund and pay its bills” instead of adding more programs.

Another issue that concerns her is property rights and environmental regulations regarding critical areas, which she things are too strict. “We have to start applying some common sense,” she said. “Taxpayers pay for litigation and there’s total madness around the state.”

Locally, Bailey said she has worked with the rest of the 10th District delegation to bring capital funds to the island, including money for improvements at Oak Harbor High School and the Greenbank Farm as well as transportation dollars for Highway 20.

“I think I’ve been effective; I believe I’ve represented the district well,” she said.

Two years ago Bailey won with 58.2 percent of the vote against her Democratic opponent, Mark Norton of Camano Island.

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