Man, the leftists are going nuts in Seattle and Olympia over Tim Eyman's latest effort: I-1125, which will require some major changes in how these slimeballs do business concerning tolls.
The timing for this is perfect, since it jams a series of sticks into the spokes of the arrogant bastards who don't care or listen to the people.
What I know for sure is that if it's pissing off the state treasurer and pissing off the former transportation secretary... neither of whom will have to pay these moronic tolls... then it's something we need to do.
Here's the lowdown, but for impacts here locally, just substitute "CRC" for SR 520... and you'll get the gist.
Initiative 1125 seeks to forbid tolling the Interstate 90 floating bridge to help cover a $2 billion shortfall on the $4.6 billion Highway 520 bridge replacement project.
State law currently forbids this sort of dollar-shifting, but lawmakers and state transportation managers have talked enough about changing that law that Eyman says an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
"Initiatives aren't just about laws, but about lobbying the Legislature to do things the people want," he says. Eyman announced Sunday he will launch a signature drive.
I-1125 also would require that tolls be uniform all day — instead of priced higher in hours when traffic is heavy. Such variable tolls were just approved by the 2011 Legislature on the old Highway 520 bridge, to begin this year. Variable tolls also are planned for the proposed Highway 99 tunnel.
State Treasurer Jim McIntire criticized the measure in an interview Tuesday. "I think it poses a serious threat to our ability to finance projects using tolls," he said.
First, I-1125 would require the Legislature to set rates, instead of delegating that duty to the appointed Transportation Commission. McIntyre said bondholders prefer the stability that comes from an independent body, which can set tolls high enough to pay debts, instead of lawmakers subject to political winds. So I-1125 would drive up financing costs, McIntyre said.
Eyman said: "If Gregoire's unelected commission set tolls at $10 one-way, the people couldn't do anything about it. But with elected officials, they must be sensitive to the people."
Second, McIntire says I-1125 "would effectively kill" completion of the Highway 520 project, because the state needs some future I-90 toll to close a $2 billion gap and complete the Montlake interchange and Portage Bay bridge in Seattle.
Of course, these are the same clowns who've stood by and done nothing while $400 Million has vaporized for the 520... millions of dollars wasted without one shovel of dirt getting turned on this pig, an even BIGGER waste of money then our local version.
Passage of this initiative will destroy bridge replacement/loot rail financing down here... and what could possibly be better than that?