OLYMPIA — The Senate returns today from a long weekend to caucuses in the morning and a Ways and Means Committee hearing in the afternoon.
The committee has a recently added bill, one that calls for a study of best way to lease the state's liquor distribution system and pull in some cash to the state coffers.
Readers with good memories might recall that the House budget called for selling or leasing the liquor distribution system and pulling in $300 million for the cash-strapped general fund. But that figure was questioned by many as too high, or at least not bankable for budget purposes.
Still the idea for getting the state out of liquor distribution persists, a corollary of the perennial cry to get the state out of the liquor business, period. This morning Ways and Means added a hearing on a new bill to study various ways to lease out the distribution system and give the Liquor Control Board direction on which — if any — make the best economic sense.
Also on Ways and Means agenda is a vote on a bill to end the low-income property tax deferral program, and to expand family planning services.