Liquor privatization measure certified for November ballot
KENNEWICK, Wash. - Secretary of State Sam Reed has certified one of two liquor privatization measures to the November ballot.
Initiative 1100 was certified Monday. Supporters turned in more than 390,000 voter signatures, well above the 241,000 required. A random check of signatures was completed Friday. If I-1100 passes, the state distribution and sales system would be abolished in favor of private businesses. Retailers with licenses to sell beer and wine would be eligible to add a liquor license, while state price controls and bans against volume discounts would be repealed. Retailers also could buy directly from manufacturers.
Many business owners are excited about this measure. Rakesh Kaboor owns 2 mini-marts in the Tri-Cities area and says this initiative wont only benefit business owners but the state and Washingtonians as well.
"That's where you make money and help the government too to collect the tax and give it to the government. It will be convenient for the people to go to convenient stores and buy their liquor instead of going to one particular place," said Kaboor.
Signatures for Initiative 1105 still need to be checked. That initiative would privatize the liquor retail system but keep in place state laws that protect liquor distributors.