In November 2019, Washington voters approved Initiative 976, which calls for $30 car tabs. Sound Publishing file photo

In November 2019, Washington voters approved Initiative 976, which calls for $30 car tabs. Sound Publishing file photo

Republicans try to guarantee $30 car tabs amid court hangup

Lawmakers sponsor companion bills in the House and Senate.

By Cameron Sheppard, WNPA News Service

As Initiative 976 is held up in the State Supreme Court, Republicans have proposed laws that would guarantee the $30 car tabs that Washington voters approved this past November.

“It is just a clean $30 car tab,” said Sen Phil Fortunado (R-Auburn). “That’s what people voted for, that’s what we’re doing.”

Unlike I-976, which is facing a court fight over its constitutionality, Fortunado said his sponsored bill, Senate Bill 6350, is simple in nature and will likely not be challenged in court.

“It removes any ambiguity about multiple subjects,” he said.

Meanwhile, Rep. Jesse Young (R-Gig Harbor) and Rep. Jim Walsh (R-Aberdeen) are sponsoring House Bill 2227, a companion bill.

Republicans were critical of Gov. Jay Inslee’s proposed transportation budget appropriations to continue funding public transit following the passing of I-976.

“This is a professional, real approach, that stands in stark contrast to the lazy approach that is being put forth by the governor that simply says we are going to punish voters because they didn’t vote the way we wanted them to,” Young said.

Walsh suggested cutting or delaying lower priority projects and administrative expenditures to help balance the budget after lost car tab revenue. Walsh said that voters “want us to find efficiencies in the state transportation budget that are necessary to make the $30 tab renewal a reality. We can prioritize our spending without penalizing high needs individuals and their transit needs.”

King County

Voters in King County soundly rejected Initiative 976, but on the Eastside, the results were much tighter.

Several Eastside cities voted to approve I-976. They were largely cities that will see comparatively fewer investments from Sound Transit’s light rail rollout. The cluster of wealthy towns in west Bellevue also largely approved the initiative: Medina, Clyde Hill and Hunts Point all saw majorities vote to approve the initiative, while Beaux Arts Village voted to reject it. The two largest cities that voted in favor of the initiative were Sammamish and Bothell. Opposition to I-976 was strong on Mercer Island, which has had residents vocally oppose the planned light rail station for a number of reasons. These include concerns over traffic, the fact that all Eastside buses currently heading to Seattle will stop on the island to transfer to light rail, and worries over crime.

Voters in South King County cities uniformly approved Initiative 976 in contrast to most Eastside cities and Seattle.

In South King County, the cities of Kent, Renton, Federal Way and Auburn saw the largest number of voters turn out. In Kent, some 7,564 voters approved the initiative, while 4,255 voted against it. In Federal Way, it was the same story, with 6,322 ballots cast in approval, while 3,437 were opposed.

Some 6,431 people voted in favor of I-976 in Renton, while 4,123 voted against it. In the King County portion of Auburn, the initiative passed easily with 4,819 voting in support and 2,232 voting against it.

In King County, 40.53% of voters approved the initiative, while 59.47% voted against it, according to the Secretary of State’s website. Statewide, 52.99% of voters approved the initiative, while 47.01% rejected it.

This report contains information from previous Sound Publishing reports.


In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing editor@kirklandreporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.kirklandreporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

More in News

Design rendering of new development (Courtesy of Runberg Architecture Group)
Vulcan purchases 1.4-acre property in Bellevue next to future light rail station

The real estate developer says the eight-story development will have about 250 units of housing.

Elaine Simons, former foster mother of Jesse Sarey, addresses a crowd outside the Maleng Regional Justice Center on Aug. 24, 2020, moments after Auburn Police Officer Jeff Nelson was formally charged with second-degree murder and first-degree assault in the May 31, 2019, shooting death of 26-year-old Sarey in front of a north Auburn convenience store. File photo
Supreme Court rules officers can be compelled to testify about killings

In a joint lawsuit against King County, the Washington State Supreme Court… Continue reading

Stock photo
Face coverings again recommended for indoor public settings

Regardless of vaccination status, says Public Health – Seattle & King County

t
Firearm violence in King County on upward trend

King County prosecutors note a backlog in court cases, point to the pandemic as the reason why.

Screenshot of King County Ecologist makes a PSA regarding water bacteria
Juanita Beach closed for bacteria levels once again

The beach is expected to be closed for at least a week.

infographic created by Coltura
Study suggests that the top 10 percent of gasoline-using drivers consume one-third of all the gas

Researchers believe converting “gasoline superusers” is an important factor in meeting climate goals

King County Logo
County property purchased in Bellevue for Eastside supportive and affordable housing

The $186 million project is expected to be finished by 2023.

Source: King County Medical Examiner’s Office
Drug overdose data shows an alarming trend in recent years

King County data indicates massive increase in fentanyl deaths from 2008 to 2020.

file photo
Eastside Fire and Rescue to share services with Woodinville Fire and Rescue

Eastside Fire and Rescue Board of Directors approved a ten-year agreement to share services.

Most Read