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November 9, 2011 at 10:26am

Liquor Control Board shares its feelings

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We imagine you've heard Initiative 1183 passed with 60 percent of the vote allowing grocery stores in Washington to sell selling liquor beginning June 1. Liquor sales will shift from the state to grocery and warehouse stores, including Costco - and more than 900 state employees will lose their jobs.

How does the Liquor Control Board feel about the whole deal?  Pretty shitty. Here's the LCB's press release that just hit the Internets:

OLYMPIA - We are, of course, deeply disappointed by the election result on Initiative 1183.

Weighing most heavily on our hearts and minds are the more than 900 Liquor Control Board employees who will lose their jobs. Our employees have been working under the cloud of initiatives for nearly two years. Despite operating under a microscope, they have carried out their responsibilities with dignity and professionalism. We owe our employees a debt of gratitude for the professional way in which they have conducted themselves during a difficult time.

Moving Forward

We will begin moving forward to ensure that we are meeting the timelines established by the initiative. Our goal is to have an orderly transition from public to private business operations. Our agency leaders are meeting now to develop a contingency plan.

  • We will continue to maximize revenue in responsible ways through the holiday season.
  • In January, our operational focus will be on divesting ourselves from the business as prescribed in the initiative.
  • By June 1, 2012, all liquor business operations - including purchasing, distribution and retail -- will be transitioned of the private sector.

Our state liquor stores have among the highest no-sale-to-minors compliance rate in the nation at more than 94 percent. The private sector's overall compliance rate is 77 percent. As the sale and distribution of liquor will soon be completely in the hands of the private sector, we hope it will treat this public safety responsibility with the utmost importance.

The Liquor Control Board will continue carrying out its highest priority of public safety. While the agency is ending its business operations, it will continue to carry out our enforcement, licensing, adjudicative and policy-setting functions affecting over 16,000 liquor licensees statewide.

Note to Editors: A good source of information will be the Liquor Control Board website at www.liq.wa.gov. We will keep the site up-to-date with the latest information regarding the transition.

The Liquor Control Board includes Board Chair Sharon Foster and Board Members Ruthann Kurose and Chris Marr.

Contact: Brian Smith, WSLCB Communications Director, 360-664-1774

Comments for "Liquor Control Board shares its feelings" (4)

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Hedwigrox said on Nov. 09, 2011 at 10:36am

I voted no, for what's it worth. Thank you for this article.

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youarecrazy said on Nov. 09, 2011 at 1:58pm

I voted yes, they should'nt of had the jobs in the first place. Glad to see it moved to the public sector!

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King Fisher said on Nov. 09, 2011 at 11:01pm

I voted no, as well. I am all for getting rid of the state-run liquor monopoly, but not on Costco's terms. I've always hoped for little specialty liquor stores, where you can get something unique, much like many beer shops in the area. Costco will give us a choice between a giant bottle of Jose Cuervo and a giant bottle of Bacardi. Not quite what I have been hoping for.

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Erick d said on Nov. 10, 2011 at 7:01pm

I was very elated to have this vote occur, altough I did not vote, because: The state has no right whatsoever on regulating things like what alcoholic beverages may be purchased or what age is considered legal to drink. The age needs to be lowered at 18 so social taboos and disparities start disappearing and the state should only collect the sale taxes after the purchases made.

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