People of Northwest Public Radio
Mon December 16, 2013
Liquor Privatization Battle Could Be Headed For Oregon
Originally published on Mon December 16, 2013 5:52 pm
Oregon voters could have the chance to follow Washington's lead next year when it comes to liquor sales.
A grocery industry group filed a slate of initiatives Monday to end the state monopoly on selling liquor.
In Oregon, only the state Liquor Control Commission can sell bottles of hard alcohol. It does so through a series of contracted retail outlets. Big chain grocery stores want to be able to sell liquor on their shelves alongside beer and wine.
A spokesman for the grocery industry group that filed the initiatives wouldn't speak on tape but issued a statement calling the current system an outdated monopoly. The group has until next July to gather enough signatures to qualify a measure for the November ballot.
A similar state-run system existed in Washington until voters decided to end it in 2011 following a $20 million dollar campaign led by Costco.
Oregon lawmakers will also consider whether to partially privatize the state-controlled liquor system when they meet in February
Wash. Liquor Privatization