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Pflug would reform health care, if re-elected

SNOQUALMIE VALLEY - Washington state Rep. Cheryl Pflug said health care and government deregulation will be at the forefront of her agenda, if she is re-elected in November.

Pflug, a Republican who has represented the 5th District for the past four years, will vie for the Position 1 seat against Democratic challenger Katrina Culp Ladopoulos in the general election Nov. 5.

She said reforming health care in the state has been one of her top priorities since she first came to Olympia. Pflug, a former nurse, believes the best way to help the health-care system is to deregulate managed care.

"In order to keep costs down, some managed-care provider or some bureaucrat tells you what you can and can't do," Pflug said. "A lot of people don't see there are some alternatives."

Referendum 51, which will also be before voters in November, would be a one-time, 1-percent surcharge on vehicle purchases and a phased-in, 9 cents per gallon gas tax to pay for specific projects, such as work on state routes 99 and 520.

Pflug has reservations about the bill, but said it is a good compromise the state needs to get transportation moving.

"It's not the perfect bill," Pflug said. "But it is a good start and we need to do something about transportation."

State Route 202 is a road Pflug said she is keeping her eye on. She said she is looking forward to seeing a 202 corridor study being conducted by the city of Snoqualmie that will give her more information on the crucial stretch of roadway that is vital to the Valley's economic and social vitality.

Pflug said the Valley's economic strength will also depend on simplifying parts of the Growth Management Act (GMA) and other regulatory laws for development.

"I don't think there will be a wholesale review of that [GMA] this year because we will be working on the budget," she said. "That enforcement should be done on the local level and we need to make sure they have the resources to do that."

All of Pflug's work will be done in light of a $2 billion budget deficit that the Legislature is facing in the next biennium that begins July 1, 2003. She said that keeping the axe away from education and social services will be at the forefront of her work in the budget process.

"To make sure we don't make cuts in education and social services is going to be really tricky," she said.

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