SEATTLE -

The state Liquor Control Board has reversed its course and is moving toward allowing volume discount sales from distributors to bars and restaurants.

The regulating panel had previously backed a proposed rule that disallowed volume discount sales, saying they did not fit under the state's privatized liquor system.

The reaction to the proposed rule was mixed. Restaurants and bars had protested the barring of discount sales, while independent contract liquor stores had complained they weren't getting the discount. Representatives from distributors had said that stopping discount volume sales may increase booze prices at bars and restaurants this year.

On Wednesday, the panel voted 2-1 to allow discount volume sales. A public hearing on the rule change is scheduled for July 9. A full board vote would follow later in the month.