Oregon grocers file petitions to privatize liquor sales

Oregon grocers file petitions to privatize liquor sales

Should Oregon government be involved in the liquor business? Voters could decide the fate of liquor privatization next year.

The Northwest Grocery Association, which represents big chain outlets such as Fred Meyer and Safeway, filed initiative petitions Monday seeking to privatize sales and allow stores over 10,000 square feet to stock liquor.

"The measures are designed to focus the state on its more appropriate role of regulating and licensing alcohol sales and enforcing state liquor laws, rather than promoting, distributing and selling liquor," according to a statement Monday by Oregonians for Competition, the political group behind the initiatives.

But any privatization attempt would have serious consequences, warned Rob Patridge, chairman of the OLCC's five-member policy board.

"They're doing something that fundamentally would create some revenue instability for the state and put some good people out of business," Patridge said. Liquor sales add about $100 million a year to the state general fund budget.

Read more at OregonLive.com.