Protecting the Vulnerable

Discussing long-term care worker training to prevent hearing loss

Published on May 18, 2017
Listen to my recent interview on KNKX where I discuss my legislation that increases training for long-term care workers to identify hearing loss in their patients.   Read More

Bailey bill granting more autonomy for state’s vulnerable becomes law

Published on May 10, 2017
After unanimous approval by the Legislature, Senate Bill 5691, sponsored by Sen. Barbara Bailey, R-Oak Harbor was signed by the Governor today. The new law which goes into effect July 22 requires a court to consider less-restrictive alternatives to guardianship – such as power of attorney or a trust – to provide for the needs... Read More

Lawmakers work together to protect seniors

Published on May 10, 2017
Read my recent guest editorial in the Everett Herald about my work to protect vulnerable adults.   Commentary: Lawmakers work together to protect seniors Read More

Bailey hearing-loss training legislation signed

Published on May 08, 2017
Senate Bill 5177, sponsored by Sen. Barbara Bailey, which will require that long-term care workers be trained to recognize hearing loss in their patients, was signed Friday by the governor. The new law will take effect July 22. “Our long-term care workers are a critical part of keeping our aging population as healthy as possible,”... Read More

My interview on KING 5 discussing the passage of my bill to protect vulnerable adults

Published on April 18, 2017

Bailey legislation on hearing-loss prevention soon to be law

Published on April 14, 2017
Thursday the Senate unanimously concurred with changes made in the House to Senate Bill 5177, sponsored by Sen. Barbara Bailey, meaning the bill will become law without further action. It will require that long-term care workers be trained to recognize hearing loss in their patients. “Many people will at some point experience loss of hearing,... Read More

Bailey bill to combat vulnerable adult abuse signed into law

Published on April 13, 2017
Senator Barbara Bailey, R-Oak Harbor sponsored Senate Bill 5099, to improve tools for prosecuting the most common forms of elder abuse. Legislature passes bill to combat vulnerable adult abuse Read More

Senate budget reveals big wins for Pierce County schools, taxpayers

Published on March 21, 2017
The Republican-led Senate Majority Coalition Caucus (MCC) released a $43 billion budget proposal that fully funds basic education and reforms the school levy system. The changes would mean a big influx of funding for Pierce County schools and big savings for taxpayers, according to Sen. Steve O’Ban, R-University Place. The proposal creates a statewide flat... Read More

Bailey bill to crack down on crimes against vulnerable adults wins Senate vote

Published on March 01, 2017
The state Senate today approved legislation sponsored by Sen. Barbara Bailey that would stiffen penalties for crimes committed against vulnerable adults. Senate Bill 5099, which has strong bipartisan sponsorship, passed unanimously. The legislation received strong support from constituents who presented petitions to Bailey in Olympia. “Crimes against vulnerable adults must stop,” said Bailey, R-Oak Harbor,... Read More

My legislation that targets criminals who prey on vulnerable adults

Published on February 15, 2017

O’Ban column refutes calls to end the death penalty and Inslee reprieve

Published on January 16, 2017
The following excerpt is from an op-ed by Senator O’Ban published in the Seattle Times:   SEE if you agree with a Bellingham jury: In 1995, Kristy Lynn Ohnstad, a 14-year-old Bellingham girl, was taken to a secluded area by her mother’s boyfriend, dragged to the back of a van, and told to remove her... Read More

O’Ban recognized as “2016 Legislative Champion” by Washington Autism Alliance and Advocacy

Published on December 06, 2016
Named for providing additional protections for the most vulnerable from abuse and neglect OLYMPIA—Sen. Steve O’Ban, R-University Place, was recognized as 2016 Legislative Champion by Washington Autism Alliance and Advocacy for his work creating new protections for the state’s most vulnerable people from abuse and neglect. “I’m really honored to be recognized in this way,”... Read More

Funding our mental health system

Published on June 28, 2016
We’ve increased funding for the state mental health system by 23 percent since the 2013-15 biennium. This includes more than $57 million to help reduce single bed certifications, $49.6 million for increased community evaluation and treatment beds and $7.6 million for a 30 bed civil commitment ward at Western State Hospital. The budget also contained... Read More

Bailey water-storage and family-caregiver planning bills become law

Published on April 04, 2016
After the conclusion of a 20-day special session, two bills sponsored by Sen. Barbara Bailey, R- Oak Harbor, were signed in a formal ceremony Friday morning. Senate Bill 6589, which was approved near-unanimously, directs state agencies in charge of water management to study the feasibility of water storage to recharge the Skagit River basin so that users... Read More

Bailey lauds passage of Silver Alert legislation

Published on June 03, 2015
For several years Sen. Barbara Bailey, R- Oak Harbor, has worked to improve the state’s alert systems through legislation that would create a “Silver Alert” statewide notification when vulnerable adults go missing and may be in need of assistance. The Legislature approved the House measure at the end of the first special session. “While different... Read More

‘Aiden’s Act’ now law

Published on May 19, 2015
O’Ban says reform will better protect children when abuse is suspected Sen. Steve O’Ban’s effort to bring about swifter government intervention in cases of suspected child abuse culminated Monday with the signing of “Aiden’s Act.” O’Ban, chair of the Senate human-services committee, named the law created by Senate Bill 5888 for Aiden Barnum, a Port... Read More

Governor signs array of O’Ban social justice reforms

Published on May 14, 2015
In a formal ceremony today, Gov. Jay Inslee signed three landmark pieces of legislation sponsored by Sen. Steve O’Ban, R-Pierce County. The first law empowers families seeking mental-health treatment for loved ones, known as “Joel’s Law.” The second ground-breaking reform increases fairness for juvenile offenders in the criminal justice system by changing requirements for sealing... Read More

Governor signs O’Ban human-trafficking bill

Published on April 28, 2015
Measure supports new training for law enforcement to protect vulnerable populations Gov. Jay Inslee signed Senate Bill 5933 Friday, sponsored by Sen. Steve O’Ban. The new law establishes a statewide training program for those who work on the front line to combat human trafficking. “This law is a needed tool for law enforcement to deal... Read More

Burned, beaten and locked away: State fails disabled woman

Published on April 28, 2015

O’Ban homeless youth prevention bill now law

Published on April 28, 2015
Bipartisan efforts boost resources to combat youth homelessness Gov. Jay Inslee signed the Homeless Youth Prevention Act into law Friday. Sponsored by state Sen. Steve O’Ban, Senate Bill 5404 boosts resources to homeless youth and aims to decrease homelessness with greater data and prevention efforts. “This is one of the most important pieces of legislation... Read More

‘Aiden’s Act’ unanimously passes House improving child safety

Published on April 16, 2015
Sen. Steve O’Ban’s effort to bring about swifter intervention in cases of suspected child abuse are one step closer to becoming law. Senate Bill 5888, known as “Aiden’s Act” was unanimously approved by the House of Representatives Wednesday.  The bill is named for Aiden Barnum, a Port Orchard child who was severely abused during infancy... Read More

Senate adopts Padden resolution honoring those with Down syndrome

Published on April 10, 2015
Today the Senate adopted a resolution sponsored by Sen. Mike Padden, honoring people with Down syndrome and recognizing the efforts of people and organizations working on behalf of those with developmental disabilities. Padden shared his personal commitment to policies that recognize the rights of those with Down syndrome. “As a Legislature and as individuals we... Read More

VIDEO: Senate honors those with Down syndrome

Published on April 10, 2015
Watch a video featuring comments from Sen. Padden and some of the Down syndrome self-advocates who attended today’s reading of Senate Resolution 8657, honoring those with Down syndrome and recognizing those individuals and organizations who advocate on their behalf. Read More

O’Ban’s Homeless Youth Act clears Senate

Published on March 10, 2015
On any given night in the state, there are over 20,000 people who are homeless, with half of those being families. Sen. Steve O’Ban has sponsored Senate Bill 5404, the Homeless Youth Prevention and Protection Act, ensuring that homeless youth and adults have support they need to thrive and avoid human trafficking, the criminal justice... Read More

Senate approves ‘Aiden’s Act’

Published on March 05, 2015
Sen. Steve O’Ban’s effort to bring about swifter intervention in cases of suspected child abuse was approved Thursday by the Senate. Senate Bill 5888, known as “Aiden’s Act,” is named for Aiden Barnum, a Port Orchard child who was severely abused, twice, during infancy and is now permanently disabled, due to mishandling of his case... Read More

Senate approves O’Ban mental-health reform bills

Published on March 04, 2015
The Senate dedicated Wednesday afternoon to addressing reforms to the state’s mental-health system. Sen. Steve O’Ban, chair of the Senate Human Services, Mental Health, and Housing Committee has been working to change the way the state delivers essential services and provides mental he-lth treatment. With strong bipartisan support the Senate approved two of his reform... Read More

‘Joel’s Law’ voted out of Senate

Published on March 04, 2015
The Senate approved Senate Bill 5269, known as ‘Joel’s Law’ with strong bipartisan support. The law is named for Joel Reuter, a severely mentally-ill man who was shot and killed by police in Seattle in July 2013. Sponsor of the bill, Senator Steve O’Ban, chair of the Senate Human Services, Mental Health & Housing Committee,... Read More

Senate unanimously approves Bailey Silver Alert bill

Published on March 03, 2015
Senate Bill 5264 has been a priority for Sen. Barbara Bailey who serves on the Senate Health Care Committee. The Silver Alert seeks to raise public awareness when adults go missing and are in need of assistance. Similar to the Amber Alert, this legislation aims to address increasing instances of missing, often elderly adults with... Read More

Washington teacher’s union supports convicted child molesters receiving state funded pensions

Published on February 24, 2015
In Washington, public employees who commit a crime don’t lose their taxpayer guaranteed retirements, and teachers can earn the right to a lifetime retirement after working for as little as five years. In Washington, public employees who commit a crime don’t lose their taxpayer guaranteed retirements, and teachers can earn the right to a lifetime... Read More

Senate approves Padden bill to update mental-evaluation law

Published on February 24, 2015
Today the Senate approved a bill sponsored by Sen. Mike Padden that would allow courts to order a mental evaluation of an offender, even if the Department of Corrections does not file a presentence report. While such reports are required, they are no longer routinely prepared by DOC. “One of the most important things that... Read More

Padden continues work to end human trafficking

Published on February 16, 2015
Saying that there is still work to be done, today Sen. Mike Padden oversaw the Senate Law and Justice Committee’s review of several bills aimed at addressing human trafficking. “The Washington State Legislature has an excellent history of dealing with the issue of human trafficking,” said Padden, R-Spokane Valley and chairman of the committee. “Shared... Read More

‘Aiden’s Act’ scheduled for public hearing Tuesday

Published on February 16, 2015
Sen. Steve O’Ban’s effort to bring about swifter intervention in cases of suspected child abuse will come before the Senate Human Services, Mental Health and Housing Committee next week. Senate Bill 5888, known as “Aiden’s Act,” is scheduled for a public hearing at 10 a.m.Tuesday.  The bill is named for Aiden Barnum, a Port Orchard... Read More

‘Joel’s Law’ clears key senate committee

Published on February 06, 2015
After broad public input, the Senate Human Services, Mental Health, & Housing Committee moved Senate Bill 5269, known as ‘Joel’s Law’ out of committee Thursday. The bill is aimed at addressing a critical need to reform the state’s mental-health system to provide help for mentally ill patients and empower families to pursue civil commitment in... Read More

New mental health funding source proposed by O’Ban bill

Published on January 23, 2015
On the heels of the state’s Supreme Court decision that requires more mental health treatment beds be found, and funded, Sen. Steve O’Ban has introduced Senate Bill 5078. O’Ban’s legislation would direct a portion of marijuana-excise taxes to be used for evidence-based programs that promote recovery and reduce the need for inpatient hospitalization. “We need... Read More

Padden: Time for Washington to get tough on repeat DUI offenders

Published on January 22, 2015
Law and Justice Committee hears testimony on Padden measure to make fourth DUI a felony When a father, mother, grandfather, husband or friend is ripped away by the actions of a drunk driver, the pain and impact caused by that can reverberate through a family and a community. The demand for justice and the desire... Read More

Bailey reintroduces Silver Alert providing more public awareness for missing adults

Published on January 21, 2015
Sen. Barbara Bailey reintroduced legislation that creates another alert system in Washington State, called the Silver Alert. Similar to the Amber Alert, this legislation aims to address increasing instances of missing, often elderly adults with mental impairments such as Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. Up to 60 percent of persons with a dementia-related disease will wander... Read More

O’Ban introduces ‘Joel’s Law’ to empower families of mentally ill seeking treatment

Published on January 15, 2015
Public hearing set Monday Sen. Steve O’Ban, R-Pierce County, today introduced Senate Bill 5269, to be known as “Joel’s Law,” and has scheduled a public hearing on the proposal for Monday. The bill is named for Joel Reuter, a severely mentally-ill man who was shot and killed by police in Seattle in July 2013. Numerous... Read More

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