By Luis Moscoso, Government Affairs Director
On January 3, representatives of All Aboard Washington stood on the steps of the Washington State Capitol, outside the Secretary of State's Office, to protest Tim Eyman's latest initiative I-976. I-976 would cap annual vehicle registration fees at $30, roll back vehicle weight fees set by the Legislature and repeal voter-approved car tab taxes to pay for Sound Transit 3, the $34 billion expansion designed to take light rail from Everett to Tacoma, to West Seattle and Ballard, and east to Redmond. Worst of all for for us, Amtrak Cascades and freight mobility projects would be gutted. Dozens of cities would lose money for road resurfacing and maintenance.
President Harvey Bowen and I have met with WSDOT Rail Division management to learn about the affects of losing funding for the state multimodal account for the Amtrak Cascades. The specifics of that impact are not yet available. It is safe to say that the Legislature will not act on this initiative prior to the election in the fall. They have the choice of passing it into law, taking no action and allowing it to move onto the November 2019 ballot, or passing an alternative which would go on the ballot with Eyman's measure.
AAWA staff and I will be working closely with the Legislature and other stakeholders who are concerned about the negative fiscal impact if I-976 is passed by the voters in the November 2019 General Election. As the "No On Tim Eyman's I-976" coalition adds more members and undertakes a campaign to alert the public and elected officials, AAWA will be asking our members to assist us in direct action to defeat this horrible initiative. Stay tuned for ways to join us on our Facebook page and website.
More information about the "No on Tim Eyman's I-976" can be found here: https://www.no976.org
Government Affairs Director
All Aboard Washington