Odds and Ends: Price tag for initiatives, fed gas tax, job security for aerospace engineers

The Spokesman-Review agrees with Opportunity Washington:

Senate Bill 5715 would have a summary of an initiative’s impact on state revenues, or an estimate of its potential cost, included in the ballot title if the total is more than $25 million…

SB5715 should not impede the initiative process. It should make voters think one last time about the choices they are making.

McClatchy reports that Fitch Ratings says raising the federal gas tax is the best way to fund the highway system. 

Though Scott Zuchorski, senior director of Fitch’s Global Infrastructure & Project Finance Group, conceded that an increase in the gasoline tax is unlikely in the near term, he said that Congress’ stopgap approach to the federal transportation program hinders states’ planning efforts.

We commented on the feds “stopgap problem” in our research plan.

The ongoing uncertainty makes planning difficult and further delays vital investment. The federal-state transportation partnership must be made more secure. Washington’s congressional delegation must come together to promote federal action that would provide permanent funding of the Highway Trust Fund at current levels.

The Puget Sound Business Journal reports on the job security of aerospace engineers. 

The report [by Marketwatch] showed that aerospace engineers have an unemployment rate of 0.3 percent. Compare that to the U.S. unemployment rate, which is currently a little more than 5 percent.

Aerospace engineers had a median salary of $103,720 in 2012, and the report also predicts that sector jobs will grow 7.3 percent by 2022.

As the PSBJ notes, that’s good for Washington, home to one of the world’s strongest aerospace clusters.