Wolf conflict in America is a century old tradition with the recent ground zero centered in Northeast Washington. We represent the 7th Legislative District, currently home to 15 of the 19 confirmed wolf packs in Washington. In other words, one legislative district, out of 49 statewide, houses over 75% of the confirmed packs in Washington.
About Joel Kretz
Stories by Joel Kretz
With just three weeks left in the 2012 legislative session, the majority party has yet to release its budget plan to solve the roughly $1.1 billion spending gap. We’ve known about this problem since last summer and, I would argue, my colleagues and I warned the majority party back in 2007 when its budget writers began their spending spree.
It’s no secret Washington is in a financial hole. The current budget is still $600 million in deficit and the projected spending gap for the 2011-13 budget is nearing $5 billion. We believe it is past-time to take bold actions that put our state on solid financial footing. State government needs to get realistic about what we taxpayers can afford, and what we can’t.
I recently hosted a community call in our legislative district. Thousands of constituents participated and, as I suspected, jobs and the economy and taxes and spending were the top issues facing our communities. During the call, I asked participants how they would prefer to solve the $2.7 billion budget shortfall. Here are the results:
Proposed legislation to cut levy equalization stopped – for now
Whoever said, “the best is always saved for last” got it wrong! This past legislative session had a record number of new laws passed – 583 – and one of the worst bills to come up for debate in the final hour of the legislative session was House Bill 1776. This proposal would have cut $60 million from levy equalization funding and allowed wealthy school districts to make up the money by increasing property tax levy lids by four percent, or up to 35 percent.