State workers leaving liquor stores before handoff

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OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) -- As Washington prepares to transfer liquor sales from public to private stores, some state employees are making their transition ahead of a June 1 deadline.

The News Tribune (http://is.gd/FcqIhM ) says the early exodus could force some state stores to close ahead of schedule. But the Washington State Liquor Control Board is hiring temporary workers to try to keep all its 166 locations open.

Voters decided in November to privatize the state's liquor sales and distribution system.

The liquor board estimates that more than 900 of its employees will lose their jobs.

Between Jan. 1 and mid-March, about 75 employees left the agency. Some are leaving to take similar jobs for private companies.

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Information from: The News Tribune, http://www.thenewstribune.com