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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Eye On Boise

Privatizing liquor may be feasible, but that doesn’t mean Idaho would do it

It'd be entirely feasible to privatize liquor sales in Idaho, according to a new state-commissioned report - but that doesn't mean the state would do it. "Usually we're all about privatization," said Rep. Maxine Bell, R-Jerome, who requested the study by the state Legislature's office of performance evaluations. But, she said, "Every issue has an exception, and this is it." Gov. Butch Otter already has come out against the idea, and Jeff Anderson, current head of Idaho's state liquor division, told the lawmakers it's "not broken." Dyke Nally, who headed the division for 15 years before he retired last April, said no control state has ever decided to privatize, though many have considered it. "This not an ordinary product," Nally said."We're not selling shoes. We're selling something that needs to have regulation." You can read my full story here at

Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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