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Privatization Fight Still Remains Strong in Washington

Although Washington State’s two privatization measures, Initiatives 1100 and 1105, were voted down in the November 2010 elections, privatization proponents have not yet given up the fight. A new bill, SB 5111, is currently presented by Washington Senators Steve Hobbs (D), Curtis King (R), Steve Litzow (R), Phil Rockefeller (D), and Tim Sheldon (D). It was introduced on January 14, 2011 and then referred to the Committee on Labor, Commerce & Consumer Protection. The bill would allow voters the opportunity to once again vote on privatizing liquor sales in Washington. Currently, liquor sales are handled by the Washington State Liquor Control Board (“WSLCB”). If the bill passes, the WSLCB’s liquor assets will be sold off and all funds deposited into the general state fund; the state will, however, maintain a revenue stream from the sale of alcohol.

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