Pennsylvania may finally sell its state liquor stores
The current system dates to Prohibition, but today's shaky finances could prompt a privatization effort that has stalled previously.
Voting along party lines, the House Liquor Control Committee agreed to back Republican Gov. Tom Corbett's plan to sell the locations. The proposal, opposed by Democrats and unions representing state store workers, now heads to the full House where it's scheduled for a vote on Thursday. If passed, it would then go to the full Senate.
The Philadelphia Inquirer quotes a statement from Corbett as describing the committee vote as a "momentous first step to bring Pennsylvania into the 21st century and provide Pennsylvanians with the convenience and choice that Americans in 48 other states enjoy."
One issue yet to be worked out is what will happen to the money from the sale, estimated at between $800 million and $1 billion.
The idea of selling the state store system, which dates back to the Prohibition era, has been discussed for decades but is being pushed again by Corbett as a way for Pennsylvania to address its fiscal woes. About 60% of Pennsylvanians back the plan.
"I think the odds are good that liquor privatization will happen -- there is real momentum behind the effort this year," says Nathan Benefield of the conservative Commonwealth Foundation think tank in an email to MSN Money. "The House committee just advanced legislation that includes real privatization today, that is the first time that has ever happened."
Follow Jonathan Berr on Twitter @jdberr.
Every few years the drums beat in favor of privatization, but the Democrats and their union puppet masters have managed to cling to the powerful single seller system - Der Staat!
Their stores are run by the Liquor Control Board and control they did.
Once the legislation passes the Liquor Control Board will be able to to their jobs and actually enforce liquor laws instead of their old corrupt monopoly.
Nice now I can buy shots of 151 for the young gals at the Sproul Rd. Wawa
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