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Washington liquor privatization may appear on the ballot for the second consecutive year

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March 21, 2011


OLYMPIA, Washington: Not but a year ago, liquor privatization was one of the hot points of debate in the state of Washington. The hot topic is back for round two and may appear on the ballot for a second consecutive year. Initiative supporters, however must collect a minimum of 241,153 valid signatures by July 8, 2011 to qualify.

Like 2010, two initiatives are on the table. In 2010, voters cast their ballot on Initiative 1100 and Initiative 1105. Both measures were defeated.

This month, Stefan Sharkansky who helped draft 2010's Initiative 1100 filed a second initiative, joining Tim Eyman's proposed Initiative 1114 for the 2011 ballot. Both initiatives are reportedly similar to I-1100.

Eyman's I-1114 would would enact the policies of I-1100, with the following two changes: new stores wishing to sell liquor must be at least 9,000 square feet in size and the current state owned stores would be auctioned off to private owners.[1][2]

Sharkansky's I-1157 implements "stricter criteria to get a license to sell spirits" and would preserve existing statutory taxes. Stricter criteria, include: the measure would allow stores with a 5-year record of no public safety violations to sell liquor.[3][4]

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