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Booze on ballot: Make it a double

by Brian Zylstra | July 23rd, 2010

Two liquor privatization measures will appear on the Washington state ballot this year.

The state Elections Division announced Friday afternoon that sponsors for Initiative 1105 submitted enough voter signatures to make the November ballot. Secretary of State Sam Reed is expected to officially certify I-1105 early next week.

Whereas the other liquor privatization proposal, Initiative1100, would let retailers buy liquor stock directly from manufacturers, I-1105 would require use of wholesalers.

I-1105, backed by wholesalers, submitted 358,525 signatures, a large enough cushion to allow a 3 percent random sample check. More than 81 percent of the 10,935 sample signatures were valid – 9,193 were accepted, and 1,742 were rejected. Nearly all of the rejections were because the signers were not registered voters. The error rate was 18.55 percent.

The last of the six initiatives to be checked will be I-1107. That review starts Monday. This measure would repeal new taxes on candy, pop, beer and bottled water.

If I-1107 qualifies for the ballot, as expected, voters will decide on six initiatives, which would equal the modern record set in 2000. The all-time record is seven, set in 1914, the first year the initiative process was available.

Over the past two weeks, Secretary Reed certified four measures to the ballot:
– I-1053, restoring the two-thirds voting requirement for the Legislature to raise taxes.
–I-1098, authorizing a state income tax on high-wage earners and lowering some taxes.
–I-1082, the plan to allow private insurers to offer coverage for workplace injuries.
–I-1100, which would end the state liquor monopoly and allow current retailers to sell hard liquor along with their beer and wine.

The Legislature has sent three other measures to the statewide ballot this fall:
* Referendum 52 would authorize bonds to finance construction and repair projects increasing energy efficiency in public schools and higher education buildings, and continue the sales tax on bottled water otherwise expiring in 2013.
* House Joint Resolution 4220, known as the “Lakewood Police Officers Memorial Act,” would amend the state constitution on bail requirements for judges.
* Senate Joint Resolution 8225 would amend the state constitution relating to debt limits for the state.

So what happens if both I-1105 and I-1100 pass this fall?  Click here find out.

One Response to “Booze on ballot: Make it a double”

  1. If you search the internet for Initiative 1105, you should find the Odom Corporation. The Odom Corporation is an established wholesaler of alcohol to bars.

    If you research Alaska, you should find that major corporations, such as Safeway and Costco sell alcohol to customers. Alcohol sales is a responsible revenue generating business.

    This is a fight for the revenue. Should the taxpayers directly benefit from the profit of sales, or should corporations?

    Legislation, to Laws, to Rules, to Court. Legislation is the Business of Laws.

    Pamela J. Hanson
    President, Lawyers Inc.

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