Local voters support liquor, homecare measures; reject tolling

January 3, 2012

In November, voters endorsed better care for senior citizens, halted a measure to change highway tolling, and turned liquor distribution and sales from state government to businesses.

The results in the Issaquah area mirrored the outcome statewide, though the margins differed depending on the legislative district. The information comes from district-level data released by state elections officials Dec. 21.

By the numbers

Issaquah is divided among the 5th, 41st and 48th legislative districts. Local voters’ choices matched the statewide results in the Nov. 8 election.

5th Legislative District

  • Initiative 1125 — 23,775 yes;
  • 26,919 no
  • Initiative 1163 — 31,757 yes;
  • 18,721 no
  • Initiative 1183 — 36,120 yes;
  • 15,916 no
  • Senate Joint Resolution 8205 —
  • 38,162 yes; 10,336 no
  • Senate Joint Resolution 8206 —
  • 33,476 yes; 13,346 no

41st Legislative District

  • I-1125 — 18,280 yes; 27,725 no
  • I-1163 — 25,282 yes; 20,329 no
  • I-1183 — 31,333 yes; 15,505 no
  • SJR 8205 — 36,049 yes; 7,860 no
  • SJR 8206 — 31,729 yes;
  • 10,846 no

48th Legislative District

  • I-1125 — 13,352 yes; 21,674 no
  • I-1163 — 19,015 yes; 15,679 no
  • I-1183 — 23,583 yes; 12,032 no
  • SJR 8205 — 27,925 yes; 5,616 no
  • SJR 8206 — 24,513 yes; 8,010 no

(Issaquah sprawls across the 5th, 41st and 48th legislative districts.)

Initiative 1183 called for state-run liquor stores to close and for the state to get out of the liquor business. The measure also requires the state to license private enterprises to sell and distribute hard liquor, set license fees based on sales and regulate licensees.

Opponents said safety concerns remain about efforts to privatize the system and sell booze at more locations.

Issaquah-based Costco, the largest employer in the city, spent $19 million to promote the initiative.

Tim Eyman’s Initiative 1125 — a measure to require the Legislature to approve tolls rather than the appointed state Transportation Commission — came up short on Election Day.

The electorate approved Initiative 1163 — a measure sponsored by the Service Employees International Union to address homecare workers’ certification and training. Supporters said the measure means better care for senior citizens, although funding the requirements outlined in the initiative poses a challenge for the cash-strapped state.

The electorate also approved the noncontroversial constitutional amendments on the ballot.

Senate Joint Resolution 8205 addressed a residency requirement for presidential voting outlined in the state Constitution. The measure brings state law into synch with a U.S. Supreme Court ruling. Senate Joint Resolution 8206 called for the state “rainy day” reserve fund to require contribution of a portion of “extraordinary” revenue in the future.

Warren Kagarise: 392-6434, ext. 234, or wkagarise@isspress.com. Comment at www.issaquahpress.com.

Voters toast liquor initiative, shut down tolling measure

November 15, 2011

Statewide ballot initiatives garnered the most attention in a campaign season dominated by local races.

Costco-backed Initiative 1183, a ballot measure to loosen state liquor rules, passed Nov. 8, and liquor sales should start at the Issaquah-based warehouse giant and other retailers in June.

I-1183 calls for state-run liquor stores to close and for the state to get out of the liquor business. The measure also requires the state to license private enterprises to sell and distribute hard liquor, set license fees based on sales and regulate licensees.

Opponents said safety concerns remain about efforts to privatize the system and sell booze at more locations.

Costco, the largest employer in Issaquah, spent more than $20 million to promote the initiative.

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Local students cast ballots in statewide mock election

November 15, 2011

Though most students in primary and secondary schools do not meet the minimum voting age, the under-18 crowd still participated in the November election — sort of.

Washington Secretary of State Sam Reed invited students in kindergarten to 12th grade to participate in the 2011 State Mock Election, a state-sponsored educational effort designed to establish voter participation later in life.

In the Issaquah School District, classes at Sunset and Sunny Hills elementary schools, Pine Lake Middle School and Issaquah High School joined the mock election. The librarian at Sunset Elementary even handed out “I Voted” stickers to students.

Older students voted for the same statewide measures as adults in the real election. Students in kindergarten through fifth grade received more age-appropriate measures.

Issaquah School District students endorsed the liquor privatization measure, Initiative 1183, 58 percent to 42 percent. Local students also backed the tolling measure, Initiative 1125, 60 percent to 40 percent, and the long-term care measure, Initiative 1163, 71 percent to 29 percent.

Statewide, 13,901 students participated in the process.

Costco-backed I-1183 aims to remove state from liquor business

September 20, 2011

Months after a measure to privatize the state’s Prohibition-era liquor system failed, Issaquah-based Costco ordered another round, and spearheaded a similar measure for the November ballot.

Initiative 1183 aims to remove the state from the business of distributing and selling hard liquor. The measure is less comprehensive than Initiative 1100, a Costco-backed privatization measure rejected last November.

A colorful brand of Puerto Rican rum occupies a shelf at the state liquor store on Northwest Gilman Boulevard. By Greg Farrar

If passed, I-1183 calls for state-run liquor stores to close by June 2012. The measure also aims to require the state to license private enterprises to sell and distribute hard liquor, set license fees based on sales and regulate licensees.

Unlike the unsuccessful initiative from last year, I-1183 limits hard liquor sales to stores of at least 10,000 square feet. (The average Costco encompasses about 140,000 square feet.) I-1100 aimed to allow smaller retailers, such as gas stations and convenience stores, to sell hard liquor.

Still, opponents said safety concerns remain about efforts to privatize the system and sell booze at more locations.

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