Washington liquor initiative challenges similar liquor initiative

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June 4, 2010

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OLYMPIA, Washington: Liquor privatization has been proposed not only once but twice for the 2010 statewide ballot. Initiative 1100 and Initiative 1105 both call for the privatization of state liquor stores. However, unlike I-1100, I-1105 prices liquor licenses based on the volume of liquor sold. I-1100, on the other hand, does not include price controls.[1]

On Tuesday, June 1 I-1100 supporters filed a ballot title and summary challenge against competing measure I-1105. According to the filed challenge the ballot language is too vague. I-1100 supporters point to the fact that the language does not reflect that in addition to privatizing state liquor stores the language does not specifiy thet I-1105 would repeal the existing alcohol tax and require the legislature to create a new tax. Charla Neuman, spokeswoman for I-1105, said the other side was "just playing games" by filing a challenge on the last day they were allowed to.[2]

Additionally, the complaint goes on to argue that the ballot title, written by the attorney general, does not explain what "qualified" means when explaining that the liquor control board would have to license "qualified private parties" to sell and distribute liquor. Another complaint points to the lack of the phrase "hard liquor" in the description. I-1100 argues that both proposed initiatives should include the phrase "hard liquor." If changed, both initiatives would be "put on the same playing field."[1]

A hearing on the challenge is scheduled for June 9.

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