Liquor privatization
5:33 pm
Mon March 19, 2012

Judge upholds Washington's liquor initiative

LONGVIEW, Wash. — A Cowlitz County judge has upheld a voter-approved initiative privatizing liquor sales in Washington state.

Superior Court Judge Stephen Warning had ruled on March 2 that Initiative 1183 addresses two different subjects because it includes a provision for public safety funds.

Attorneys for the state asked the judge to reconsider on Monday, arguing that public safety and liquor have a close relationship. Warning heard arguments from both sides and then reversed his earlier decision, granting the state's motion for summary judgment.

Opponents of the initiative had argued that it violates state rules requiring initiative to address only one subject. Opponents' attorney Michael Subit said he would appeal the latest ruling to the state Supreme Court.