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Initiatives filed to privatize liquor sales

by Brian Zylstra | April 16th, 2010

petition

Two initiative measures (here and here) that would privatize liquor sales in Washington state have been filed with the Office of Secretary of State. The measures will be reviewed by the state Code Reviser. After the initiatives’ sponsor gives the final OK, the Attorney General will write the ballot title and description for them. The ballot titles can be appealed by either side in Thurston County Superior Court. After all of this happens, petitions can be printed and circulated.

It takes 241,153 valid voter signatures to qualify for the statewide Nov. 2 ballot. We always recommend about 300,000, to cover any invalid signatures. July 2 is the deadline to turn in signatures for initiatives to the people.

Go here to see the other initiatives that have been filed this year.

9 Responses to “Initiatives filed to privatize liquor sales”

  1. S. Lockhart says:

    This initiative is a really BAD idea. The impact on society will NOT be a good one. I have worked extremely hard and have passed four compliance checks in my three years of employement at a state run liquor store. I don’t do it because of the lousy hours I have to work or the measly paycheck I earn. I do it because I want to prevent drunk drivers from killing innocent people out on our roads. I do it because I don’t want to read about another teen driver killed in an alchohol related accident. Deregulating our state will definately have a negative impact resulting in liquor being sold on every street corner. Take the state of California for example, they deregulated alchohol and are now dead broke hoping to legalize marijauna, now isn’t that decision making at it’s finest? I think NOT! We DO NOT need to make alchohol more readily available to the public because I have witnessed on a daily basis the negative impact it can have on people’s lives. If we really care about the quality of life in our state then this intiative needs to be pitched into the garbage where it belongs. Oh, and for the record, I don’t think State stores need to be open on Sunday.

  2. When I moved to Washington I thought state run stores were a bid odd and restrictive, but on the other hand I find it somehow refreshing. In my time here I have not seen it make that much of a difference in the over all amount of alchohol related deaths, accidents, or illnesses. This because could be blamed on several factors, but my theory is that it is because a person can get plenty inebriated on beer which is available in most grocery stores here. In fact, during my teenage years that was the *prefered* method for most of my friends. Many under-age drinkers simply have an older friend go pick up beer or liquor for them. And there really isn’t any reason that a person buying a bottle of something from a state run store is less likely to drive drunk. In fact if drunk driving is a concern, bars should be targeted instead. People want to get home at the end of the night, if you drink at home you don’t need to drive to get there. On the other hand, I think the state should retain control of liquor sales. Even if the difference is as little as one less death every year its worth it and if it turns a profit for the state thats great. Its also nice to have a centralized website to check laws, regulations, store hours, and get product information. Over all I won’t be voting for privatizing liquor sales, but I don’t think the world would end if it did pass. As to the previous comment about Sunday sales, I don’t see why it should be an issue. I don’t think any store should be required to be closed on Sunday since there are many people who do not observe any sort of religious event on Sunday. I also feel that no person who does should be forced to work on Sunday or any other day their religion observes. Since I know only some liquor stores have Sunday sales it seems like that should be an acceptable comprimise.

  3. EAboudara says:

    Are you serious, S. Lockhart? California is broke because they privatized liquor sales? They charge a sales tax in much of CA that is as high as ours and that would include liquor sales. They also charge a huge income tax, and yet they still never have enough tax $$ to cover all of their high-spending–that’s why they are broke. If the Feds would control the border better, CA would not be in such deep doo-doo. That is the reason why they are broke: too much spending and too many illegals on MediCal and in the public schools. Our state-run monopoly liquor stores have not prevented anyone from driving drunk or destroying their lives or others lives because of alcoholism. This is a relic of the 1930′s and needs to go the way of the dinosaurs and should have gone away 20 years ago. We need more police officers perhaps to set up more check points or sting operations, so perhaps an extra-high sales tax on alcohol of all types should be considered to cover the costs of hiring more police officers statewide–we need more anyway. We also need to simply toughen up our DUI laws A LOT and throw the book at these drunk drivers–that might go a long way toward prevention. And I am a serious practicing Christian and am not bothered at all by the Sunday hours–other states allow it, why shouldn’t we?

  4. How do I sign to support these initiatives?

  5. I am all for this. Our taxes should not be funding liquor sales. We can save lots of money in pensions and healthcare benefits to liquor store employees by getting rid of the state’s liquor stores. Sell the real estate too and use the money to make up for some of the deficit. This will also allow the Liquor Control Board to do a better job in regulating liquor sales because they will no longer be tasked with increasing liquor sales at liquor stores (which is what they are doing now!).

  6. Henry M says:

    To sign the initiatives you can go to any Costco.
    I am sorry, but your doom and gloom words are all a part of your own delusional state. The state would actually make more money by privatizing the sale of alcohol. I am not sure where your basing your assessments on, but you are DEAD WRONG. The state has a distribution center, stores, employees, contracts with shipping, and their own assets for transportation, now that doesn’t even include inventory…. They would liquidate all of the assets and that alone should save us millions of dollars. As for your fallacy of being safer by selling it in a liquor store….boy, was that just a bunch of CROCK! We sell beer and wine in regular stores, is there beer and wine being consumed by minors on every street corner? NO! Now, I empathize with you and the fact that you and several hundred employees will be losing their jobs, but to take the state out of the liquor business is for the greater good, like Sylvia said, I don’t want my tax dollars going to pay for the state to sell liquor. There are currently 1,469 employees at the Wa St Liquor Control Board, with 122 employees making over 60K, 59 making over 70K, 25 making over 80K, 10 making over 90K, and 5 making over 100K a year. 704 Salaried employees making a total of…$32,710,595..04…Are you kidding me….32 million dollars to sell booze annually!? Keep in mind this doesn’t include properties owned by LCB, or long term rental contracts, or inventory of merchandise and assets(trucks and other tangible assets). Don’t believe me…go to http://lbloom.net/ all of the employees are listed with their 2009 salaries. Now the salaries do not include benefits, that will be roughly 30-40 percent of the 32 million added on. So, please tell me, how is the state being in the liquor business a fiscal rewarding venture?

  7. Wow, so uninformed…Really, same taxes collected, no rent on stores resulting in millions a year, no overpaid state employees, no pensions, Really the saving to the state is huge. I mean look at this business model, it is broke! boo-hoo get over it, it will pass

  8. Really if you think the state employees who work in the liquor stores and the distribution center are overpaid, please take a reality check. My husband does and he makes about 33,000 a year. If you think that is being overpaid, you must make nothing. The real overpaid state employees are not going to be touched by this. The overpaid employees at the top – those on the liquor board, will not lose their jobs, only the ones at the bottom, the warehouse people and the ones who run the stores.

    Also, if you like buying wines from our local wineries, get over it, because although the state makes a point of carrying wines from every winery in the state, they will most certainly not make it onto the shelves of Safeway, Costco, or your local AM/PM.

    The state run liquor stores do a lot more good than people imagine. Hopefully everyone out there will do a little research before blindly voting convenience.

  9. Wow, a liquor store employee is against this, real shocker. And those commercials on TV about how buying liquor at a convenience store resulted in drunk driving deaths are rediculous. Convenience stores sell beer already, so that is a pointless argument. I am a casual drinker, but I don’t like going out of my way and being taxed up the ying yang to pay the state millions of dollars.

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