It’s no secret that our state is mired in a dire fiscal crisis, and our governor and Legislature are finding it difficult to make necessary cuts while protecting essential services. Our governor has even called a special session to deal with our financial problems. The likely solution to budget shortfalls: more across-the-board cuts.
Instead, in these difficult times the state needs to decide what programs and services are necessary and what functions can be best served by the private sector.
One such function is Washington’s antiquated, post-Prohibition role as liquor dealer. Our state’s own Office of Financial Management claims that we will save an estimated $402 million to $480 million over the next six years if voters approve Initiative 1183 and get the state out of the liquor business. That’s money that would be much better spent on schools, law enforcement and other such services.
It’s time we got with the times and join the whole host of other states that regulate and enforce liquor laws but don’t serve as middle man.
I-1183 would result in more choices, more competition, lower prices for small businesses and consumers, and significant savings for state and local government.
Vote yes on 1183.