The Oregonian is currently doing a series on the budget crisis in Oregon, including this quick article from Saturday’s paper about eliminating the OLCC. Essentially, the article lists the pros and cons of privatization. The most interesting part:
2009-2011 budget: $134 million, generated by sales, fees and fines. Here’s the breakdown: $9.7 million, 67 employees for purchasing, wholesale and support; $18.3 million, 104 employees for public safety; $14.9 million, 59 employees for support services, which includes administration; $82.3 million agents’ compensation and $8.9 million merchant fees. OLCC returned $172 million in proceeds to state and local government for the 2009-2010 fiscal year.
In other OLCC news, Oregon Senator Floyd Prozanski (D-4) is proposing a change to the legislation preventing Oregon homebrewers from consuming their product outside of their homes, an issue that came to head this year (haha, get it?) when the DOJ interpreted the existing legislation regarding the consumption of homebrewed alcohol to mean the end of the homebrew competition at the Oregon State Fair. The legislation is being drafted, and will likely be considered in January, when the legislature gets to start having fun with the state budget again:
Christie Scott, a spokeswoman for the Oregon Liquor Control Commission, said her agency has looked into numerous ways to work within the confines of the law while allowing home brewers to continue sharing their beers and ales beyond where they were brewed. But none of the possible solutions have been practical.
“The only real solution to getting this change is changing the statute, and that is exactly what we’re working with Sen. Prozanski on,” Scott said.
Prozanski said he’s taking the lead in the Legislature on finding a solution.
Prozanski said it will spell out clearly what Oregonians can and cannot do with the beer, wine, hard cider and other home-made alcohol they produce. The goal is to return to the way such beverages could be enjoyed before the Justice Department’s new interpretation of the law.
“What’s been going on for decades should be permitted,” Prozanski said.
All this anti-OLCC press will certainly be a motivating factor in the midterm elections coming up in the fall, specifically since Republican candidate Chris Dudley is making it a campaign issue.