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Tag: liquor


Liquor Control Board sticks with 20-mile restriction on small liquor stores, with exceptions

You shouldn’t have to drive more than 20 miles to buy your whiskey and gin.

That’s the idea of a rule the state Liquor Control Board proposed in March, making an exception for small stores under 10,000 square feet that otherwise are mostly barred from opening under voter-approved liquor privatization. It’s a pretty narrow exception, permitting perhaps 20 stores, the board has estimated. Most are likely to be in Eastern Washington.

Today the board widened the exception slightly, moving forward unanimously with a revised proposal that also allows small stores on islands that are inaccessible by

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Costco, backers of liquor privatization sue over Initiative 1183 implementation

Costco and its allies wrote the initiative that privatized liquor sales in Washington and spent $20  million convincing voters to approve it , but they’re not happy about some of the results.

The group announced today they are suing the state Liquor Control Board to challenge the rules it made to implement Initiative 1183. The liquor board declined to comment, but it explains its rules here, along with some of the objections.

The lawsuit (below) was filed Thursday in Thurston County Superior Court.

The suing coalition, which also includes restaurants and other groceries, says the board’s interpretation of key parts is

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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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