Idaho vote to privatize liquor might be illegal

BOISE, Idaho (AP) – Attorney General Lawrence Wasden says a proposed voter initiative to privatize Idaho’s lucrative hard liquor business might be illegal because the Constitution says such decisions are the Legislature’s purview. Since 1934, the Idaho Constitution has given the Legislature full power and authority to regulate the sale of intoxicating liquors. Wasden’s office reviewed a proposed initiative aiming for the November 2012 ballot to privatize liquor sales and concluded in a review released on Tuesday that the 78-year-old constitutional provision makes an initiative vulnerable to a challenge. In January, the Idaho Federation of Reagan Republicans submitted a citizen’s initiative to privatize liquor sales in Idaho and eliminate the Liquor Division. In addition, the Northwest Grocery Association is pursuing privatization, but says it will ask the 2013 Legislature before going the initiative route.

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