Washington Voters Approve Private Liquor Sales

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In what was the most expensive political race in the Pacific Northwest, Washington voters have kicked their state out of the liquor business. A $22.7 million campaign, fed in large part by the Costco Wholesale company, resulted in 60 percent of voters favoring Initiative 1183, which will now allow private retailers to sell spirits in Washington.

Beginning next June, Washington liquor sales shift away from state-run stores, resulting in an elimination of 900 state jobs. However, Washington budget officials estimated that the number of liquor retailers will jump from 328 to 1,428, generating approximately $80 million in annual revenue for the state and local government.