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Tag: Initiative 1183


New liquor store owners get discount for hiring former state workers

At a Tacoma liquor store this week, I overheard a clerk telling a customer that he is staying on when the store transfers to private ownership, in part because the state is offering a discount to new owners who retain the employees.

I asked the state liquor control board spokesman Brian Smith whether there is such an incentive, and he answered that there is. The agency’s director of business enterprise, Pat McLaughlin, said the discount is one way the state is seeking to lower unemployment payments to workers left without a job once privatization takes effect.

The state has budgeted

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Washington Supreme Court upholds validity of private liquor initiative I-1183

In a split decision released the day before Initiative 1183 was to take full effect, the Washington Supreme Court ruled that opponents of the measure failed to overcome the presumption that laws and initiatives are constitutional.

“We hold that appellants have not overcome the presumption that the initiative is constitutional, and therefore we affirm summary judgment in favor of the State and intervenors,” wrote the court’s newest Justice Steven Gonzalez for the majority (see decision below).

“… given the State’s continued recognition of the connection between liquor regulation, public safety, and revenue generation, we find that appellants have not established

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Judge reverses ruling, upholds liquor privatization

A Cowlitz County judge today reversed his earlier ruling and upheld the liquor-privatization initiative.

The issue was whether the 2011 ballot measure illegally dealt with more than one subject by diverting an extra $10 million in liquor revenue to local governments for public safety programs. Attorney General Rob McKenna’s office argued the topics are closely connected, and says the judge agreed.

The state will continue to implement privatization while opponents appeal to the state Supreme Court, according to news reports. Here’s the Times’ Melissa Allison’s report from the courtroom. And here’s coverage by the AP’s Shannon Dininny, who notes that

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Liquor board, stores brace for new world

The state Liquor Control Board will have to shut down the 166 stores it runs and shed more than 900 of its 1,400 employees. Not surprisingly, board members are “deeply disappointed” by voters’ backing of Initiative 1183, they said in a news release today.

Another 162 contract stores that are agents of the state in less populated areas will have the chance to stay open, but they face a degree of uncertainty. The stores have to get approval from the liquor board, they don’t know whether competitors will move in nearby, and they worry customers may make the extra drive

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I-1183: Who’s buying the election?

Both sides of the expensive liquor-privatization battle are trying their best to say it’s the other guys.

Opponents were the first to make Costco’s nearly $23 million in campaign contributions an issue, and supporters are firing back over the $11 million raised by opponents, mainly from national liquor distributors.  Here are new ads from both sides:


Distilleries launching TV ads on I-1183

National distilleries launched a television ad today that criticizes Initiative 1183’s privatizing of the state-run liquor monopoly, while still saying it is neutral on the issue of privatization.

See the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States’ ad here, which comes as Costco has donated a state record $22.5 million to push I-1183 to passage.

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