State initiative filed to privatize state liquor sales

Charla Neuman of Seattle, a longtime public affairs consultant and former aide to Maria Cantwell, filed an initiative on May 7 with the secretary of state in Olympia to have citizens vote on privatizing the sale of liquor in Washington state. It takes 241,153 valid signatures of registered Washington voters to qualify for the statewide November ballot. The submission deadline is July 2, and the Elections Division recommends that all initiative sponsors submit at least 300,000 signatures in order to cover invalid and duplicate signatures.

Recent media reports say that the benefits of selling off the more than 300 stores are mixed.

The state auditor’s report, released in January, showed that the state could increase revenue from liquor sales and distribution by $350 million if it sold or auctioned off the state distribution center to private businesses, one media story said. But that revenue wouldn’t be realized for two years, the report said. If the state hangs onto the stores, Washington estimates that state and local governments will get $2.36 billion between 2012 and 2016. About 60 percent of the money goes into the state’s general fund, with 19 percent going to cities and counties.

For information about the initiative, contact

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus

Read the Oct 19
Green Edition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Browse the archives.

Friends to Follow

View All Updates