Supporters of private WA liquor eye new initiative



OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — A group of retailers and restaurants are going to make another attempt at privatizing the distribution and sale of liquor in Washington state.

The coalition including Costco, the Northwest Grocery Association and the Washington Restaurant Association have filed a new initiative. Supporters expect to begin gathering signatures in the next month and are confident it will be on the ballot this year.

Washington voters rejected a Costco-backed initiative that would have privatized the system. Northwest Grocery Association President Joe Gilliam says the proposal would prohibit liquor from being sold at gas stations and small convenience stores.

Stores that get liquor licenses would pay 17 percent of liquor revenues to the state. Liquor distribution businesses would give the state as much as 10 percent of their revenues.