After a voting season focusing on many complex and significant issues like I-1125 and I-1183, the results are in, and it is time to learn what issues passed or failed, and how these results will affect the students at AHS. Initiative 1125 was a proposed initiative regarding the spending of money collected through car tabs and tolls. Intitiative 1183 was an initiative that proposed privatizing liquor sales in Washington State.
Although the recent election was not as significant as say, a presidential election, several issues that effect the state greatly were put on the ballot. These issues included Initiative 1125, and Initiative 1183.
I-1125 was a significant issue in the recent election. This initiative was put forward by Tim Eyman, a regular fixture in Washington State elections. “[Tim Eyman] is notorious for making generally terrible initiatives,” says Aviation High School Junior Jake Hecla.
This initiative in particular focuses on how the state is allowed to spend money that it collects from gas taxes, car taxes, and tolls.
According to this initiative, the state should not be allowed to spend money that is collected through gas taxes or tolls on any other projects than the transportation projects that they had been declared for.
The initiative was intended to prevent the state from using road tolls to become an easy way for the state to earn money.
“Tolls are a user fee,” say the I-1125 opponents in the 2011 State of Washington Voters Pamphlet, “people only pay for what they use. That’s fairer than raising taxes on everyone – or diverting limited resources – to fund critical projects.”
These “critical projects” could include construction projects such as the 520 Bridge, Interstate 405. These are major roadways in the the Puget Sound area that are vital to Washington commuters. “If I-405 closed, it would add probably an extra half hour to my commute,” says AHS Junior Jake Hecla.
Many companies such as Microsoft and Boeing have been strongly opposed to this initiative because of its restrictive nature.
“We count on safe roads to get to and from work, but [Initiative] 1125 will stall critical road safety improvements,” Boeing’s vice president for manufacturing Ross Bogue and Jim Bearden of Machinists’ Lodge 751 said in a Boeing sponsored radio ad opposing I-1125, “That’s why The Boeing Company and Aerospace Machinists strongly oppose Initiative 1125.”
Boeing in particular has been an ardent supporter of Aviation High School. Their support and generous funding has allowed the school to take huge steps in establishing itself and earning the money needed to build the new school.
“The direct effect on the students would be minimal unless it caused backlash in industry along the lines of Boeing or other large aerospace or technology companies in the area,” says Hecla, “If it caused issues with them then it would directly effect the public especially the school because we are so heavily funded by Boeing.”
This initiative fought a close battle but ended up not passing by about two percent of the vote.
The issue of I-1183 has also been well publicized throughout the entire voting process with ads on television, radio and other forms of media.
The initiative,which put forth the possibility of the state privatizing liquor sales, passed on November 8 with nearly a twenty percent lead. With the passing of this initiative, it will make it so that liquor can be sold in grocery stores and other large retailers, like Costco. The passing of this initiative has been the cause of concern for many Washington residents.
“Having more liquor around leads to more temptation for teenagers…to drink more,” says AHS Junior Jenni Luoma, “When [people] buy liquor, they don’t [always] take into account the consequences for it.”
Students have also had differing opinions on what the outcomes of the passing of this initiative could be.
“I would vote to pass the initiative because I think that our current system for dealing with alcohol is wasteful,” stated former AHS student Jason Bonham, “The system we have [had] in place spends government money where it should not be spent, in the distribution not enforcement of alcohol sales. If the stores were put in charge of selling liquor there would be virtually no repercussions.”
This initiative has been the result of an intense battle between State Emergency Response forces and the Washington Restaurant Association. These two factions have been fighting a brutal advertising war for the past several months.