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Spin Control

Posts tagged: state Liquor Control Board

OFM: Pass on both bids for liquor warehouse

OLYMPIA — After studying two proposals for taking over the state's liquor distribution system, the state Office of Financial Management is calling for a pass on both.

In a letter to the Liquor Control Board, OFM Director Marty Brown says the proposal's “do not represent 'net positive benefit' to the state or local governments.”

Selling the state's liquor warehouse has been a popular proposal in the Legislature, where many members believe the state has no business in the liquor business. Some budget proposals in the last session counted on revenue from the sale of the warehouse to help close the gap between expected revenues and scheduled expenses, but critics questioned whether the revenue estimates were realistic.

Opposition to state control of liquor has generated three ballot initiatives in the last two years, the most recent being Initiative 1183 on the Nov. 8 ballot and would get the state out of the wholesale and retail end of liquor sales

Before I-1183 was filed, the Legislature passed a law requiring a study of the possible financial benefits of selling or leasing the state's warehouse and distribution system, while maintaining its retail stores.  Companies were invited to submit bids, and OFM was directed to examine them and make a recommendation to the Liquor Control Board, which has ultimate authority over the state's booze business.

Only two companies bid. . .

To read more of this post, go inside the blog.

Studying the sale of the liquor warehouse

OLYMPIA — As retail giants pour money into an intiative campaign to get the state completely out of the liquor business, a special state committee meets today to discuss cutting loose just a part of it.

The Liquor Distribution Advisory Committee has an 11 a.m. hearing, which some members apparently will attend by phone, to work on coming up with bid specifications for the possible sale of the wholesale end of the booze biz.

One problem to wrestle with: by the time the committee gets the bids out and back, voters may have passed judgment on the state's control of the liquor wholesale and retail system, and decided to turn the whole thing over to private enterprise. That's what Initiative 1183 would do.

Supporting I-1183 are Costco, Trader Joe's, Safeway and some other large retailers. Opposing it are the national wine and liquor distributors, some of the smaller grocery chains, and some unions. 

Marr on state Liquor Board

OLYMPIA — Former state Sen. Chris Marr was appointed to the Washington State Liquor Control Board Thursday by Gov. Chris Gregoire.

Marr, who served one term in the Senate from Spokane's 6th District but lost his re-election on Nov. 2 to Republican Mike Baumgartner, replaces Linda Bremer on the three-member board that oversees the sale of alcohol and programs to prevent its misuse. The appointment starts Feb. 1, and must be confirmed by the state Senate.

Gregoire cited Marr's experience in the Legislature and in business, where he was managing partner of Foothills Auto Group before his election to the Senate.

“The public has indicated support for the revenue liquor sales generate for essential state and local services, improved convenience and most importantly — ensuring public safety is not compromised,” Marr said in the press release that announced the appointment.

Gregoire, McKenna back ban on alcoholic energy drinks

The state Liquor Control Board announced a ban on alcohol laced energy drinks like Four Loco, and quickly received backing from Gov. Chris Gregoire and Attorney General Rob McKenna.

The board issued an emergency 120-day ban Wednesday, and is looking at a permanent ban next year. The action follows an incident in which nine Central Washington University students became violently ill after drinking caffeinated alcoholic beverages at a party last month.

“Quite simply, these drinks are trouble,” Gregoire said in joining Board Chairwoman Sharon Foster for the announcement of the ban. “By taking these drinks off the shelves we are saying ‘no’ to irresponsible drinking and taking steps to prevent incidents like the ones that made these college students so ill.”

“This dangerous combination results in young people drinking way too much, way too fast — and waking up in local hospitals with alcohol poisoning,” McKenna said, noting that he and other a-g’s have been working for a nationwide ban on the drinks nicknamed “blackout in a can.”

Three other states have banned sales in the last week.

But if the state is banning all sweet-tasting, caffeinated alcohol drinks, can a crackdown on Irish coffee be far behind?

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About this blog

Jim Camden is a veteran political reporter for The Spokesman-Review.

Jonathan Brunt is an enterprise reporter for The Spokesman-Review.

Kip Hill is a general assignments reporter for The Spokesman-Review.

Nick Deshais covers Spokane City Hall for The Spokesman-Review.

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