WA voters approve liquor initiative - KPTV - FOX 12

WA voters approve liquor initiative

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Washington voters have approved a plan to privatize liquor sales, siding with Costco in the costliest initiative campaign in state history.

Results for Washington state Initiative 1183 started to roll in at 8 p.m. By 8:25 p.m. FOX 12 political analyst Tim Hibbitts had seen enough of the numbers to say the initiative had passed.

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In the lead-up to the election, Costco spent $22 million. Those opposed to the idea spent about $12 million, making it the most expensive initiative campaign in the state's history.

The measure will dismantle controls that have been in place since Prohibition.

Wholesalers provided much of the opposition funding, as retailers will now be able to bypass them and buy product directly from producers. About 1,000 people who currently operate the state's system will lose their jobs.

Costco had backed another privatization measure that failed last year. The latest one includes more revenue for state and local governments, as well as stricter controls on what stores can sell liquor.

Other initiatives on the ballot in Washington this year include an effort to put restrictions on the state's use of tolling and expand training requirements for long-term care workers.

Copyright 2011 KPTV. All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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