Round 2 for bill allowing liquor in Kiggins Theatre auditorium

Although the 2013 legislative session in Olympia won’t begin until next month, some state lawmakers are getting their bills on the books early.

One of those lawmakers is state Rep. Jim Moeller, D-Vancouver, who recently re-introduced a few bills that failed last session, including one that would allow single-theater movie houses, such as downtown Vancouver’s Kiggins Theatre, to serve alcohol in the auditorium, even if minors are present.

Under current Washington state law, Kiggins Theatre and other historic, single-screen movie venues have only a few choices when it comes to serving alcohol to filmgoers.

They could get a tavern license and operate as a bar, meaning those younger than 21 would not be allowed in the theater. Or they could do what Kiggins does now, which is sequester alcohol drinkers to a room separate from the auditorium.

Both are difficult business models, Kiggins’ owner has said.

Moeller’s bill to give Kiggins more flexibility had passed in the House of Representatives and made it through its committee in the Senate last session. Presumably, all it needed was a floor vote in the Senate and the governor’s signature.

But as the 2012 session neared a close, Republicans in the Senate joined forces with a few philosophically conservative Democrats and introduced an alternative budget. The drama caused by the Senate coup placed many smaller bills on the back burner, where they soon died.

Moeller also re-introduced a bill this month that would create a “Yellow Dot” program for drivers with disabilities. A yellow-dot sticker on a car window would indicate to paramedics that a person involved in a car accident has a disability that requires special attention.

He also re-introduced a bill that would make sure health care professionals who are being investigated for neglect or abuse of a vulnerable adult have their license suspended. Such providers are prohibited from working with vulnerable adults during their investigation but their license remains intact.

The 2013 legislative session begins Jan. 14.

Stevie Mathieu: 360-735-4523 or or or

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