n 1999, Initiative 695 passed ending the motor vehicle excise tax (MVET) which car owners used to pay when renewing their car tabs. But since roughly 75 percent of this lost MVET revenue had gone for transportation purposes including ferry operations, the ferry system has been in a budgetary crunch these past twelve years.
Senator Mary Margaret Haugen hasn’t wanted to see services cut or watch rates rise, so she’s looked for ways to save money and improve accountability. Many of us saw the King 5 report on the waste in our ferry system. Mary Margaret cut that waste and put in reforms ending the costly and no longer necessary perks which the ferry engineers had been enjoying.
These reforms were common sense changes meant to keep the cost to ferry riders affordable and to ensure that in these times of austerity ferry workers are treated the same as all other state employees. More than 20 unions back Mary Margaret for re-election because they know she supports working people and is willing to lead the bipartisan reforms necessary to protect our ferry riders, even when the special interests howl. We should be glad to have a Senator so willing to stand up for us.