Gov. Inslee signs relief bill waiving liquor license fees

OLYMPIA, Wash. — Washington Gov. Jay Inslee has signed into law a bill that waives certain annual liquor license fees for restaurants, breweries, wineries and other venues hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic.

Inslee tweeted that he signed the bill on Sunday, saying the one-time waivers “will provide some financial relief while we work to get them back to capacity.”

KXLY-TV reports the licenses can cost from just over $100 for beer and wine specialty shops to more than $2,200 for restaurants serving beer, wine and spirits. License fee waivers go into effect in April.

Restaurants and retailers are able to operate at 25% capacity under Washington’s current restrictions designed to stem the spread of the virus.

The Democratic governor said on Thursday that he plans to spend the next several weeks consulting businesses, health officials and others before deciding what future COVID-19 restriction phases might look like.