OLYMPIA — A state ballot measure to place new restrictions on projects involving toll roads and bridges has failed. Read more
Initiative Measure 1125
About this measure
The Law as it Presently Exists
The legislature has enacted various laws that direct where and how tolls can be set for bridges, ferries, tunnels, roads, and related facilities. Those laws also restrict the ways in which toll revenue can be used. Initiative Measure No. 1125 would impose additional restrictions on the use of toll revenue.
The Eighteenth Amendment to the Washington Constitution requires that certain state revenue be used only for “highway purposes.” That amendment, which was approved in 1944, provides that the following revenue must be paid into the state treasury and placed in a special fund to be used exclusively for “highway purposes”: all fees the state collects as license fees for motor vehicles; all excise taxes the state collects on the sale, distribution, or use of motor vehicle fuel; and all other state revenue “intended to be used for highway purposes.” That fund is the “motor vehicle fund” established in RCW 46.68.070. The Eighteenth Amendment also lists some uses that must be considered “highway purposes,” including the necessary operating, engineering, and legal expenses connected with the administration of public highways, county roads, and city streets; and the construction, reconstruction, maintenance, repair, and betterment of public highways, county roads, bridges, and city streets.
Since well before the adoption of the Eighteenth Amendment, the legislature has authorized the use of tolls as one means of paying for the acquisition, construction, and operation of bridges, ferries, tunnels, roads, and related facilities. That authority includes the use of tolls to retire bonds issued to finance acquisition and construction of bridges, ferries, tunnels, roads, and related facilities; tolls used for that purpose must be deposited in special trust funds kept separate from all other funds.
Under current law, the legislature must authorize the collection of tolls but it can delegate the authority to set the amounts of tolls. The legislature has designated the state Transportation Commission as the “tolling authority” responsible for setting most tolls, under standards and guidelines established in law to ensure that the revenue generated by tolls is sufficient to pay maintenance and operating costs for the facility; pay principal and interest on bonds, related financing costs, and insurance; and reimburse the motor vehicle fund for any money used from that fund to pay for bonds. Unless otherwise provided in law, all revenue from a toll facility is to be used for that facility, and tolls may continue to be collected after initial construction has been paid for to fund additional capacity, maintenance, and operation of the facility.
The Effect of the Proposed Measure, if Approved
Initiative Measure No. 1125 would require that toll amounts be set by the legislature by majority vote, rather than by the Transportation Commission, and would make the setting of toll amounts subject to statutes that require preparation of various reports and analyses relating to costs. It would require that tolls be “uniform and consistent” and would not allow variable pricing of tolls. (“Variable priced” tolls typically are higher during periods of traffic congestion and lower at other times of the day or week.)
While the measure would leave in place the authority to collect and use tolls for the preservation, maintenance, management, and operation of a facility, it would add provisions that limit the use of some tolls to construction and capital improvement only and that require tolls on future facilities to end after the cost of the project is paid. The measure would require revenue from tolls to be used only for purposes “consistent with” the Eighteenth Amendment, and would prohibit any revenue in the motor vehicle fund or any toll fund from being transferred to the “general fund or other funds” and used for “non-transportation purposes.”
The measure would restate the existing requirement that tolls must be used on the facility for which they are collected, explicitly referencing the Interstate 90 floating bridge. The measure also would prohibit the state or a state agency from transferring or using “gas-tax-funded or toll-funded lanes on state highways” for “non-highway purposes.”
SOURCE: Washington Secretary of State’s Office
Last updated: Nov. 15, 7:54 a.m. Election results
OLYMPIA — Initiative 1125, which would have placed restrictions on how tolls can be levied and spent, is officially a loser. Although the fate of the proposal seemed fairly likely when it ended Election Night behind, The Associated Press night called it for the No camp Wednesday evening after another day of ballot counting in someof the state's biggest counties. Among them, a 71,000 vote margin on the side of the opposition in King County. … Read more
OLYMPIA – Led by a multimillion dollar battle over liquor sales in Washington, initiatives and candidates on the Nov. 8 ballot have spent more than $18 million to sway voters in the past three weeks. This may not surprise state residents who can’t turn on the television without seeing firefighters argue whether voters’ lives will be better or worse if state-run liquor stores go away. Other state initiative campaigns have their own TV messages, and campaigns are filling mailboxes with mailers. Read more
OLYMPIA – Led by a multi-million dollar battle for who controls liquor sales in Washington, initiatives and candidates on the Nov. 8 ballot have spent more than $18 million on trying to sway voters in the last three weeks. This may come as no surprise to state residents who can’t turn on the television without seeing firefighters argue whether voters’ lives will be better or worse if state-run liquor stores go the way of the Model T. … Read more
The Spokane City Council took another chance on Monday to critique Proposition 1, the Community Bill of Rights. Council members voted 6-1 to formally oppose the initiative, which appears on the November ballot. The rejection is no surprise. All the members of City Council already were on record in opposition to the proposition, which would require developers of some kinds of projects to collect voter signatures, make it easier to pursue lawsuits against governments or businesses that pollute the Spokane River or aquifer, challenge corporate rights and extend constitutional rights into the workplace. Only Councilman Jon Snyder voted against the recommendation. Snyder said he personally opposes Proposition 1 but that he didn’t think the council should take a formal position on a local citizen’s initiative. … Read more
For Spokane residents who haven’t dealt with a local toll way since the booths came down on the Maple Street Bridge in 1990, Initiative 1125 might seem like a ballot measure more important to the west side of the state. Not so, say supporters and opponents of the initiative that occupies the top spot on the Nov. … Read more
OLYMPIA — Washington business groups, including Greater Spokane Inc., are taking turns dissing Initiative 1125, a proposal that would put restrictions on the way state sets and spends tolls on roads and bridges. The Association of Washington Business recommended a vote against I-1125 last week at its annual “policy summit.” GSI, the Greater Vancouver Chamber of Commerce, Greater Seattle Chamber, Renton Chamber, Washington Roundtable and state Realtors Association also urged a “no” vote, using words like irresponsible, dangerous and — horror of horrors! — politicizing. Read more
OLYMPIA — The Association of Washington Business, which is occupies the role of the state's chamber of commerce, likes the ballot measure to turn the state's liquor business over to private business. It doesn't like the ballot measure to restrict tolling policies on roads and bridges. Nor does it like a measure to require extra training and background checks for long-term care workers. At its “policy summit” meeting in Suncadia — that's a lodge on the eastern slope of the Cascades near Cle Elum — the AWB decided to come out in favor of I-1183, which would end the state monopoly on wholesale and retail liquor operations. … Read more
OLYMPIA — For those who are Jonesing for some campaign-style polling, a Seattle political consulting firm is trying to supply a fix. It has a new poll of 500 voters that suggest if the election were held today, Republican Rob McKenna would beat Democrat Jay Inslee for governor. And President Barack Obama would beat either ofthe two current GOP frontrunners, Rick Perry or Mitt Romney, for president in Washington state. Two initiatives on this November's ballot would also pass, according to the Strategies 360 poll. But there are some caveats and some details beneath the surface of the raw numbers, Kevin Ingham, the firm's vice president for polling, explained Monday morning in the big rollout of the numbers. To read the rest of this item, click here to go inside the blog. Read more
OLYMPIA — The Washington State Republican Party announced Wednesday it is endorsing Initiative 1125, the proposal to limit the use of money collected for road and bridge tolls. The proposal is this year's offering by Tim Eyman and allies to rein in some aspect of state spending. The endorsement can't be considered that surprising, because it's hard to think of a time when the state GOP didn't back a measure by Eyman to limit state spending. In other I-1125 news, the Washington Policy Center, a research group that supports “market solutions”, has issued a long report about the eight different questions the initative raises, and the way supporters and opponents answer them. Read more
OLYMPIA – Washington would collect more revenue if an initiative to privatize liquor sales passes, but could pay more for road projects if another ballot measure on toll roads succeeds. That’s the best estimate of the Office of Financial Management, which recently released its analyses of the three measures headed for the Nov. 8 ballot. Read more
OLYMPIA – Washington would collect more revenue if an initiative to privatize liquor sales passes, but could pay more for road projects if another ballot measure on toll roads succeeds. That's the best estimate of the Office of Financial Management, which recently released its analyses of the three measures headed for the Nov. … Read more
OLYMPIA – A coalition of House Democrats and education advocates are asking the courts to void the supermajority required for tax increases, arguing that it’s an unconstitutional limit on legislative authority. State Republicans and the sponsor of initiatives that have repeatedly resulted in voters imposing that two-thirdsmajority quickly denounced the lawsuit as ignoring the will of the voters. Tim Eyman, who had another such initiative certified Monday for this November’s ballot, said the suit could boost that measure. … Read more
OLYMPIA – Washington voters will likely face proposals on tolls, liquor and home health care workers on the November ballot. But not on chickens or marijuana. Read more