"Should Idaho Privatize Liquor Sales?"
Friday, Feb. 15, 2013, 11:45 am - 1:15 pm
The Grove Hotel
Jeff Anderson, director, Idaho State Liquor Division , Gloria Totoricagüena, lobbyist, Arkoosh Eiguren

The notion of privatizing Idaho liquor sales may emerge as a serious legislative proposal in the 2013 Idaho Legislature. In our next City Club forum, Gloria Totoricagüena, a lobbyist with Arkoosh Eiguren, will speak about the benefits of liquor privatization, while Jeff Anderson, director of the Idaho State Liquor Division, will talk about the advantages of state control. The speakers will then take questions from the audience.

Totoricagüena and Anderson will reflect on the state of Washington's experience of converting to private liquor sales in the last year. But both will also discuss a larger issue: What is the core role of government? Why should Idaho government be involved in selling alcohol?

In Washington, liquor sales increased by 14.3 percent in the first three months of sales after privatization and tax revenues have gone up. While liquor is more readily available to consumers, liquor prices are increasing.

Idaho's system of state liquor control has been in place for 80 years. According to Anderson, state control results in lower per capita consumption (15% less than in an open state), and liquor revenues are shared with local government -- to the tune of $63 million last year, he said. In a free market system, Anderson says, easier access to alcohol raises questions about drunken driving and public safety. 

Anderson has served as director of the Idaho State Liquor Division since April 2010 and director of the Idaho Lottery for six years. He has a bachelor's degree from CaliforniaStateUniversity, Chico, with a double major in communications.

Totoricagüena has had a career in academia, consulting and lobbying. She has a Ph.D. in comparative politics from the London School of Economics and Political Science and a master's degree in education from Boise State University.

Chair: Tom Killingsworth
Moderator: Marcia Franklin
Underwriters: Hawley Troxell