Letters to the Editor

Privatizing liquor sales poses problems

The two initiatives pertaining to the state Liquor Control Board, 1-1100 (Costco-supported) and I-1105 (supported by booze distributors) would cost the state and local governments as much as $730 million over the next five years — this, according to the non-partisan OFM budget analysis.

Not only would the initiatives cause the firing of nearly 1,000 people, it also would create a public safety nightmare. Liquor sales and consumption will rise drastically, liquor outlets will increase by 1,000 percent (from 300 to 3,300, at least); minors will gain more access to alcohol (current data shows state liquor stores with a no-sales-to-minors compliance rate of 95 percent versus 76 percent for the private sector — a 400-percent increase in sales to minors).

Local police and fire departments will see cuts to their services (18.8 percent of LCB profits went to fund local law enforcement, $62.6 million in 2009); Washington's Basic Health program also will see significant cuts, leading to more people unable to obtain health coverage (14.9 percent or $49.4 million of liquor profits in 2009 went to fund health services in Washington, according to state data).

With so many downsides to these initiatives, it's really a no-brainer. Vote no on I-1100 & I-1105 when you fill out your ballot. Think about the consequences and vote for progress for Washington state, not for corporate profits.

– Robert Kramer, Vote Progress Washington, PAC

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