I-1100 liquor-sales measure defeated
State stores will continue to be the only places to buy liquor in Washington. Voters have rejected Initiative 1100, which was financed largely by Costco and would have allowed grocery stores and other retailers to sell liquor instead of state stores.
Seattle Times business reporter
State stores will continue to be the only places to buy liquor in Washington.
Voters have rejected Initiative 1100, which was financed largely by Costco Wholesale and would have allowed grocery stores and other retailers to sell liquor.
With more than two-thirds of the expected vote counted, Initiative 1100 was losing by about 80,000 votes, with 52 percent of voters opposing it.
Voters also killed a competing measure from liquor distributors, Initiative 1105, with 64 percent opposed.
"Voters took a close look at both these initiatives and realized how deeply flawed they were," said Sandeep Kaushik, spokesman for the campaign against both initiatives. "They saw that they would cost the state jobs, that they would cut funding for public safety and that they would undermine responsible regulation of hard liquor sales in Washington state by allowing an explosion of hard-liquor outlets."
The I-1100 campaign was reluctant to concede, particularly with more votes to be counted in King County, where it held a slight lead.
Ashley Bach, 1100 spokesman, said, "We aren't conceding the race, but we recognize the numbers aren't with us right now.
"Whatever the fate of I-1100, a large percentage of voters have registered their dissatisfaction with how the state runs its liquor business. We're confident this will send a strong message that liquor reform is something the public wants."
Besides closing state stores, I-1100 would have dismantled regulations that keep retailers from getting price discounts. Both measures could have led to more than 3,000 stores selling liquor in Washington, compared to 325 now, the state Auditor's Office estimated. In addition, the state's Office of Financial Management estimated $51 million to $146 million a year in lost annual revenue to state and local governments.
Foes of the initiatives raised $9.1 million, more than both supporting campaigns combined. Most of the opposition money came from beer distributors, large beer manufacturers and unions for state liquor workers.
Melissa Allison: 206-464-3312 or email@example.com
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