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Judge Upholds WA Liquor Privatization Law

liquor store
(Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

A Cowlitz County Superior Court Judge upheld Initiative I-1183, reversing a previous ruling that would have stalled the privatization of Washington State’s liquor stores.

Judge Stephen Waring had previously issued a ruling March 2nd that sided with opponents who claimed the initiative passed overwhelmingly by voters was against state rules.  They claimed such initiatives were supposed to only deal with one subject, in this case, the privatization of liquor stores.  The opponents claimed that because I-1183 also sent ten million dollars of what is known as the liquor revolving fund to public safety, that it addressed two subjects.

  However, the Judge ruled in agreement with the State, and Attorney General Rob McKenna said the will of the people will be carried out.   The Judge’s original order caused a temporary delay in the sale and auctioning off of the state liquor stores, including those in Tri-Cities.  Had the ruling stood, it would have invalidated the initiative.

   Numerous stores have begun applying for permits to carry hard liquor, and bids have already been taken on the liquor stores in the Tri Cities.

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