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Dear Friends and Neighbors,

Thank you to everyone who joined myself, Senator Brian Dansel and Representative Shelly Short for our recent telephone town hall. As always, we had great participation from folks back home. During the call, we had more than 3,000 people on the line participating! There were a lot of questions that were asked that we were able to address during the hour-long call. We're working on returning voicemails that many people left. In the meantime, I want to share the results of the poll questions that were asked:

  1. The Human Rights Commission recently ruled that transgender people could use the bathroom or locker room of the sex they “identify” with. What should the legislature do?
    1. 71.4% believe we should do whatever it takes to repeal the ruling
    2. 23.8% believe we should work with the commission to address the concerns and come up with a compromise solution
    3. 4.8% believe we should do nothing as you agree with the commission's ruling
  2. The State of Washington takes the lead on fire response and fire suppression efforts. How do you view these efforts over the last two years?
    1. 8.2% – exemplary
    2. 17.6% – slightly above average
    3. 25.7% – average
    4. 48.4% – slightly below average
  3. Voters have approved a two-thirds legislative vote for tax increases six times over the last 22 years. To put this issue to rest once and for all, would you support a constitutional amendment placing the two-thirds vote requirement into our state constitution?
    1. 71.2% – Yes, it's about time
    2. 12.9% – No, the legislature should have more flexibility
    3. 15.9% – Not sure, need more information

If you missed the call and would like to provide your input on these questions, or if you have additional thoughts on these questions or other issues, please don't hesitate to contact my office.

Rep. Joel Kretz on the House floorIn other news, we have officially passed the halfway point of session. This means that we have also reached the major cutoff points – policy, fiscal and House of Origin. Our focus has been on House floor votes on the bills that passed through committee and will take the next steps in the legislative process.

I introduced House Bill 2765 earlier this session and it was overwhelming approved by the House on Monday. Under my bill, park rangers' limited law enforcement authority would be extended to state roads within park boundaries and also within a one-mile radius outside a park's jurisdictional boundaries. My bill goes as far as extending limited law enforcement authority if and when an incident occurs, such as an altercation outside a park gate. This bill would allow for an incident to be addressed in a timely fashion while other law enforcement agencies outside of a park's jurisdictional boundary respond. This bill is now heading to the Senate for further consideration. You can read more about this bill here.

I also introduced House Bill 2928. It was unanimously approved by the House on Tuesday. Under my bill, the Department of Natural Resources would inspect areas that are fit for prescribed burns and issue burning permits for forest resiliency burning. These permits would be issued only when it is unlikely the burn will significantly contribute to a violation of air quality standards. This bill takes the initial steps to avoid catastrophic wildfires and protect our forests and the environment. This bill is now heading to the Senate for further consideration. You can read more about this bill here. I will keep you posted on the outcome of this bill and House Bill 2765.

Finally, I really want to hear from you! I want to know how we can make our district Rep. Joel Kretz with Legislative Assistant Daphne White-Hallmore successful and grow. As your state representative, it is important that I stay engaged and listen to what is most important to you. Please contact my Legislative Assistant, Daphne, with your suggestions, ideas, and concerns on how we can improve the 7th District.

I thank you for taking the time to read my email updates. Please feel free to share these updates with your friends and family and encourage them to subscribe. I also recommend that you follow my Sound Cloud page and listen to my audio updates from Olympia.

It's an honor to serve you.


Joel Kretz

State Representative Joel Kretz, 7th Legislative District
335A Legislative Building | P.O. Box 40600 | Olympia, WA 98504-0600
(564) 888-2361 | Toll-free: (800) 562-6000