SALEM Should Oregon privatize liquor sales like Washington State? It's been a hot topic that looks likely to go to the ballot in Oregon soon.

A bill offering what proponents called a hybrid plan got an airing in Salem Wednesday.

The Statesman Journal reported Wednesday that under the bill, the OLCC would act like a wholesaler and put liquor on grocery store shelves, but still control the sales.

The plan is a response to several groups that want to take the state out of the alcohol business, and let private retailers take over.

Stores of at least 10,000 square feet, like a Safeway, Fred Meyer, or Costco sell liquor by allowing them to buy it from the state.

There would be a state minimum price. Stores could set their own prices, but they couldn't discount below state minimums.

Smaller state-licensed stores, currently the only way to buy liquor, would stay in business.

Oregon liquor sales at a glance:

  • There are 248 state-licensed liquor stores
  • Revenue is projected to reach $1 billion between 2013 to 2015
  • Of that, $442 million is divided between state, county and city agencies and mental health programs
  • Liquor sales are the third largest source of general fund dollars, behind income taxes and the lottery
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