Go to the politics section for more local and national politics coverage.
New poll shows voters split on liquor, tolling initiatives
Posted by Andrew Garber
The latest Stuart Elway poll suggests a state-wide ballot measure aimed at reinstating training requirements for home health-care workers has strong support.
But two other measures that would privatize the state liquor system and make it harder to toll highways are on more tenuous ground, with support at 50 percent and 49 percent respectively.
Elway's poll, released Tuesday, shows 77 percent of the voters surveyed support Initiative 1163, while 9 percent oppose it and 14 percent are undecided.
I-1163 would require background checks and training for long-term-care workers and providers. It essentially would reinstate a measure voters approved in 2008 that was delayed by the Legislature because of budget shortfalls.
The measure is sponsored by the Service Employees International Union, which has made cash and in-kind donations of nearly $1.4 million.
State records show a group called People Protecting Our Seniors, No 1163 is opposing the initiative. They've raised $35,000, with most of the money coming from the Washington State Residential Care Council.
Elway's poll shows 50 percent of the voters surveyed support the liquor-privatization initiative, I-1183, with 38 percent opposed and 12 percent undecided.
The measure would close state liquor stores and sell their assets, including the liquor-distribution center. It would allow private stores to sell liquor and create licensing fees for sale and distribution of liquor based on sales revenue.
Costco is the main backer, providing most of the $2.4 million in cash and in-kind contributions raised.
A group called Protect Our Communities has raised nearly $4 million to oppose the measure, with most of the money coming from the Wine and Spirits Wholesalers of America.
The initiative would require a 17 percent fee from retailers on all liquor sales, and other fees from distributors. A state analysis estimates the measure could generate up to $253 million in additional liquor revenues over six years for the state and up to $227 million for local governments over the same time period.
The poll shows 49 percent of voters support Initiative 1125. The measure would require the Legislature, not the state Transportation Commission, to set tolls, and mandate that a toll on a particular road or bridge be used only to build, operate or maintain that project.
The measure also would prevent light rail from running on the I-90 floating bridge, and prevent potential I-90 tolls from being used to help pay for the Highway 520 bridge project.
Tim Eyman is the sponsor. Most of the campaign's roughly $1.3 million in contributions has come from Bellevue developer Kemper Freeman.
A coalition including business, labor and environmental groups, called Keep Washington Rolling, formed to fight the measure. State records show it's raised about $67,000.
Elway said I-1183 and I-1125 numbers are a bit soft at this stage of the campaign.
"The usual rule of thumb is you want to be north of 60 when things start," he said. "I wouldn't be comfortable if I were on the pro side of either of those."
Covers the Eastside.
Covers politics and state government from Olympia.
Covers local government.
Covers politics and regional issues from Washington, D.C.
Covers Seattle City Hall.
Covers King County and urban affairs.