OLYMPIA: State Representatives Jeff Morris (D-Mount Vernon) and Kris Lytton’s (D-Anacortes) legislation to give city councils the responsibility to review liquor license applications passed the House of Representatives unanimously on Saturday, February 11, 2012.
Currently, applications are reviewed by a city's mayor or the city manager. Rep. Morris worked with Rep. Lytton on the bill after a Mount Vernon business was denied a liquor license by the city's then-mayor.
"Liquor license applications should always be reviewed at the local level, but there is a huge risk for abuse when your rest this authority with one person," said Morris. "These changes ensure that the process is democratic and fair."
The legislation also allows for the public to weigh-in on the process.
"This new policy seems so logical to me that I’m surprised it hasn't been in place before,” Lytton said. "Too much power in one person's hands is generally not a good idea, and I'm glad our colleagues agreed."
The bill now moves to the Senate for consideration.