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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

High Court asked to block liquor initiative

I-1183 had too many subjects, opponents say

OLYMPIA — Opponents of Initiative 1183 made their last stand at keeping the state in the liquor business today, telling the state Supreme Court the ballot measure had too many subjects and hid new taxes by calling them fees. But attorneys for the state and for supporters of the measure said voters clearly understood that they were making changes to the Washington’s longstanding control of liquor, and that was the unifying element that makes the new law constitutional. The court is hearing the case on an expedited schedule. I-1183 is due to take the state out of the wholesale and retail liquor business in June, and both sides agreed that if the court rules against the new law, the changes made so far can be undone. If the decision comes down after June 1, however, “we have a real mess,” Michael Subit, attorney for the groups challenging the initiative said.