Bright Light award: Sen. John Braun

When Senate Republicans insisted in the budget process this year that the state not just hold the line on college tuition but actually lower it, they were fighting to reverse a damaging long-term trend. For far too long, university funding was an easy cut for Olympia to make – just move the money elsewhere and jack up tuition to make up the difference. The process made clear that it is legislative Republicans, not Democrats, who prioritize higher education in Washington. Braun 2

They say success has many authors, but surely Sen. John Braun (R-Centralia) deserves a lot of credit for championing the tuition reductions. He fought for the tuition policy, a historic achievement for higher education and Washington’s middle class, while also protecting taxpayers from big tax increases.

Braun is still in his freshman term in the Legislature, but he quickly mastered the complex state budget, impressing many with his deep knowledge of how the state raises and spends tax dollars. No doubt his strength with numbers is helped by his role as president of Braun Northwest, a manufacturer of emergency vehicles that employs many from the Centralia-Chehalis area.

In addition to his legislative and business duties, Braun is a commander in the Naval Reserve, which he joined after active duty in the Navy. For his granular knowledge of the state budget, fiscal prudence, and his important role in lowering tuition for Washington families, Sen. John Braun is a Smarter Government Washington Bright Light.
-Rob McKenna

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Rob McKenna
Rob served two terms as Washington’s Attorney General, from 2005 to 2013. He successfully argued three cases before the U.S. Supreme Court and negotiated three of the largest consumer financial protection settlements in national history, all involving mortgage lending and servicing. He is a recognized leader in the development of consumer protections on the internet, in data protection and privacy regulation.