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Otto Bill Website

HD 65: Bill Otto

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Who is Bill Otto?

Bill Otto is a retired air traffic controller with a strong record of public and community service. Bill has been a Boy Scout leader, a Bible School teacher at Arlington Methodist Church, a youth coach at St. Lawrence Catholic Church and a house father in a boys home. He has served as a City Council member in Bridgeton, then as a Representative to the Missouri State Legislature (District 70) for a diverse area that includes portions of St. Louis and St. Charles counties.

Bill was born on New Year’s Day in 1956. He has overcome many personal challenges, beginning at age 15 when his mother died and he was sent to a boys home. Bill was provided food and shelter until he was 17, when state law forced him to leave. He was put out on the streets — homeless at 17.

Bill overcame these challenges with the help of teachers and mentors and went on to receive his GED, go to college and join the U.S. Navy. Bill especially credits the help he received from inspiring Navy officers who taught him how to be successful.

In 1983, he received an honorable discharge from the United States Navy.

He and his wife Kathy have been married for over 20 years and raised three sons and three daughters in Bridgeton.

Bill is a huge St. Louis Cardinals fan. His love of music can be seen through his vinyl record collection and the guitar that he occasionally will strum.

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Ready to make calls? Click HERE. Want to know more? Scroll down to see where Bill stands on the issues.

Economic Development

The time has come for us to move to the forefront in economic development. We have to be aggressive in our efforts and bring growth to our region. With your support, I will continue to:

• Work with residents, municipal governments, surrounding districts and civic leaders to spur job creation and optimize our state resources.

• Utilize community colleges for the creation of job retraining programs for unemployed and underemployed workers

• Capitalize on new opportunities for development in Biotechnology, Green Technology, and Logistics.

• Create jobs by passing a statewide bond issue to fund improvements to hazardous, aging roads and bridges, and to develop state-wide high-speed rail.

Workers Rights

There have been relentless attacks on organized labor through the legislative process. I will continue to provide representation that will defend and fight for the gains made through collective bargaining. These gains not only help union members but all working men and women. And with your support, I will continue to:

• Oppose all “Right to Work for Less” legislation so workers can be fairly compensated for their hard work.

• Support worker’s right to Freely Organize in order to encourage fairness within all jobs.

• Be an advocate for fair wages and benefits so workers can comfortably support their family.

• Support Project Labor Agreements (PLA), Prevailing Wages, and Equal Pay for all citizens

Public Education

Public education has been vital to the success of our community and nation. As a product of public school, I understand its’ importance and the integral role it plays in the lives of students. Again, with your support I will continue to:

• Support community involvement programs that assist students in achieving academic success

• Improve education to attract quality employers to our state

• Make education funding a top priority within the state budget

• Stop the ridiculous attacks on teachers

Effective Government

The Missouri House has more legislators than the state of California. Combine that with unlimited finance contributions and a constant flow of gifts from lobbyists and what you have is government run by special interests. As your representative, I have not accepted any gifts from lobbyists and I will continue to push for legislation that will strengthen your voice in Jefferson City. With your support I will work to:

• Reduce the number of House Representatives.

• Restrict out going legislators from working as lobbyists for a minimum of 2 years

• Pass real finance reforms

• Eliminate term limits

Higher Education

Earning a college degree has always been a pathway to grow the middle class and achieve the American Dream. It provides access to well-paying jobs and limitless possibilities. However, many young people and bright minds simply cannot afford to attend a four-year university. Students graduate college with so much debt that it can take decades to pay off. This not only limits the potential of many people, but it weakens America’s economy as a whole because our workforce will become less educated and less skilled.

First and foremost, we need to make quality college education affordable and accessible to everyone. I will work to make this happen by expanding Pell grants and keeping interest on student loans low. No student should graduate college with crippling debt from loans.

We also need to be committed to strengthening two-year community and technical colleges. Many jobs require specialized training and education but not necessarily a four-year degree. Community and technical colleges provide job-specific training and education, are much less expensive than four-year universities and allow people to enter the workforce sooner.

The bottom line is this: every student who is willing to work toward earning a college degree should have the opportunity to do so.

Bridgeton and West Lake Landfills

Ever since our community became aware of the shocking events at the Bridgeton and West Lake Landfills, I have dedicated myself to finding solutions to this public safety crisis. It started when neighbors reporting intensely strong odors from the Bridgeton Landfill. I then became aware that the adjacent West Lake Landfill is housing massive amounts of illegally dumped nuclear weapons waste from the Manhattan Project.

West Lake Landfill is not designed to safely house nuclear waste. It is unlined, in a floodplain, and close to heavily populated areas. And to make matters worse, there is currently a huge subsurface smoldering fire in the adjacent Bridgeton Landfill that is moving towards the nuclear waste in the West Lake Landfill. Experts are unsure what exactly would happen if the fire reaches the nuclear waste, but many predict a catastrophic event.

We need a safe and permanent solution to this serious issue. The EPA has failed us and it’s time for FUSRAP to take over. Additionally, homeowners and business owners have been betrayed by the landfill owners – Republic Services. I will continue to work tirelessly to hold them accountable.

Seniors

There are tax policies that have been successful in other states that freeze skyrocketing property taxes for seniors on fixed incomes. These policies help to keep seniors from being taxed out of their homes and help to stabilize our neighborhoods and housing market. We can bring those successful policies here.

• I support freezing taxes for Seniors and those on fixed income who’s total yearly income is less than $50,000.

• Qualified property owners, when they turn 65 or become permanently disabled, will have all of their future real property tax payments frozen at the amount they paid the year they qualified and any increases in real property taxes will be payable to the County upon either the sale of the house or upon their death.

• This policy has been endorsed by the St Louis County assessor.

Healthcare

Health care reform changed the course of history in this country. Before the Affordable Care Act, millions of Americans did not have access to quality, affordable health insurance. More Americans than ever before have the peace of mind that comes along with being covered by health insurance. The number of uninsured Americans has fallen dramatically, so we are clearly moving in the right direction. Affordable health care is essential to all of us and I will fight to keep improving our country’s health care system.

Because of the Affordable Care Act, Americans can no longer be discriminated against because of a pre-existing condition and insurance companies can’t drop your coverage due to illness at the time when you need it the most. The days of lifetime caps on coverage that financially ruined families are over. Financial subsidies now puts coverage within reach for many Americans by helping with costly premiums. Women can no longer be charged more for health insurance than men. And young adults can stay on their parent’s plans until age 26, so they can focus on college and starting out in the world. I will never stop fighting to make sure these crucial provisions of our health care law stay intact.

My opponent and the Republican-led House of Representatives have voted 60 times to repeal the Affordable Care Act. They want to take us back to the days when the insurance companies made all the rules. We shouldn’t go back to the days when one health crisis could financially ruin a family. If Republicans want to take health insurance away from the millions of Americans that currently have it, they must provide an alternative.

I believe it’s time that Republicans and Democrats work together to make sure that those Americans that are still in need have access to quality, affordable health insurance. I will never stop working to make sure that every American has the best health care that our country can offer.

Campaign Finance Reform

When it comes to electing our leaders, Americans overwhelmingly believe in “one person, one vote,” yet a 2010 decision by the United States Supreme Court has turned elections into a system that can be bought by the wealthy and well-connected. The Court struck down the limits on independent spending by corporations and special interest groups in campaigns for federal offices that were established by the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002. This ruling allows unlimited and anonymous money to be poured into federal elections. We must restore the people’s trust in our election systems.

I will always support legislation that brings transparency to our democracy. This legislation would begin to address the explosion of anonymous spending on federal campaigns by super PACs and other groups.

Climate Change

Climate change is real, and humans are contributing to it. That’s a fact backed by just about every scientist in the world. There should be no more arguing this fact. The real discussion begins on what we can do to protect our climate and planet for future generations.

Creating more sustainable energy solutions is a win-win solution. We can easily add thousands of jobs to the economy by investing in sustainable energy policies. In fact, the solar industry has already added tens-of-thousands of jobs in the past five years.

In Missouri, we are leading the way with the Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program. This program allows Missourians to upgrade their homes and properties to make them more energy efficient and clean energy reliant. These home improvements are paid for by using low-interest loans that are only given out if the energy savings are more than the cost of the loan, and the loan is then paid back by using the energy savings from the improvements to the home or property. Thus, these loans always pay for themselves and the improvements end up saving owners money. This is a program that creates jobs that cannot be shipped overseas, lowers energy bills, protects the climate and pays for itself.

I will be an advocate for our climate and will support sustainable energy policies that move us further away from our dependence on fossil fuels and lower greenhouse gas emissions. It is irresponsible to ignore scientific facts that tell us our planet is dramatically changing for the worse. Creating jobs and lowering energy bills by investing in sustainable energy policies and programs is a common sense solution and something I will work tirelessly for in Congress.

Women’s Rights and Women’s Health Care

I fully respect and support every woman’s choice to make informed and independent decisions about her health care and family planning. When it comes to a women’s health care decisions, they should be made between a woman, her God, her family and her doctor. Legislators should never make these critical and personal decisions.

Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, millions of women now have guaranteed access to preventive health services, like mammograms.

Women finally receive free wellness visits and protection from gender discrimination. Women in our country deserve the same quality health care as men – and they shouldn’t have to pay extra for it. Prior to the Affordable Care Act, only 12 percent of health care plans offered maternity coverage and now millions of women in our country have those benefits.

When planning their family, women should also have access to affordable contraception. Simply put, insurance plans should cover a woman’s right to access birth control. Currently, short-term health insurance plans are not required to carry birth control and I will work to change that stipulation.

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