Washington privatizes liquor sales

| Print |  Email
The Latest
Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Washington voters approved a plan to privatize liquor sales, ending state rules that have been in place since Prohibition. It was the costliest initiative campaign in state history.

Unofficial results Tuesday night showed the measure with 60 percent support in early returns. Costco Wholesale Corp. had committed $22 million to supporting the measure — $6 for every registered voter — as executives portrayed the Issaquah-based company as a crusader for consumers and said that it could take years to make up the investment in the initiative.
The company also harnessed support from restaurants, groceries and other retailers.
"We are very grateful to all of our coalition partners across the state," said Joel Benoliel, senior vice president and chief legal officer at Costco. "The voters overwhelmingly demonstrated that facts trump scare tactics."
Wholesalers provided much of the opposition funding, as retailers will now be able to bypass them and buy product directly from producers. The new rules go into effect in June, and about 1,000 people who currently operate the state's system will lose their jobs.
Costco had backed another privatization measure that failed last year with 47 percent of the vote. Acknowledging that the 2010 proposal wasn't ideal, supporters returned this year with a plan that includes more revenue for state and local governments, as well as stricter controls on which stores can sell liquor.
The measure will end Washington's state-run liquor system, which was formed in the 1930s in the aftermath of Prohibition, and allow stores larger than 10,000 square feet to sell liquor. Opponents pointed to an exemption in the law that could allow smaller stores to sell liquor if there are no other outlets in a trade area.

Read more at CBSnews.com.

 

More Articles

Eco Zoned

June 2015
Friday, May 22, 2015
BY HANNAH WALLACE

Travelers have always come to Oregon for its natural beauty. But will the increasing popularity of agritourism, European-style hiking getaways and forest resorts relax Oregon's notoriously strict land-use laws?


Read more...

100 Best Green Workplaces announced

News
Wednesday, May 27, 2015
OBM-100-best-Green-logo-2015-1000pxwBY LINDA BAKER | EDITOR

More than 250 people turned out today for Oregon Business magazine’s seventh annual celebration of the 100 Best Green Companies to Work For in Oregon.


Read more...

Stemming the tide of money in politics

Linda Baker
Wednesday, June 10, 2015
 jeff-lang-2012-thumbBY LINDA BAKER

Jeff Lang and his wife Rae used to dole out campaign checks like candy.  “We were like alcoholics,” Lang says. ”We couldn’t just give a little.”


Read more...

Urban renewer

Linda Baker
Wednesday, June 24, 2015
UnknownBY LINDA BAKER   

One year after he was appointed chair of the Portland Development Commission, Tom Kelly talks about PDC's longevity, Neil Kelly's comeback and his new role as Portlandia's landlord.


Read more...

Hall of Flame

June 2015
Friday, May 22, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER

A Power Lunch at Oswego Grill.


Read more...

Efficiency Boost

June 2015
Friday, May 22, 2015
BY JOE CORTRIGHT

How conservation stimulates the local economy.


Read more...

6 key things to know about summer baseball in Oregon

The Latest
Friday, June 05, 2015
basedthumbBY JACOB PALMER | DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

As temperatures in Oregon creep into the 90s this weekend, Oregonians' thoughts are turning to — summer baseball.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS