Corbett to Propose Privatizing Pa. Liquor Stores

Gov. Tom Corbett will announce plans to privatize Pennsylvania's state store system

The big issue of whether to privatize Pennsylvania's liquor stores will take center stage today as Gov. Tom Corbett announces plans to sell them off.

Corbett will call for liquor store licenses to be auctioned off, according to multiple sources. Sales of beer and wine could be opened up to various retailers including drug stores and big-box department stores.

Related story: Pa.'s Prohibition Era May Finally End

The Republican governor is expected to announce his plan at 2 p.m. Wednesday in Pittsburgh. This move comes on the heels of plans to privatize the PA Lottery -- another controversial move.

Pennsylvania has about 620 state stores.

Union groups have argued that more than 4,500 jobs will be lost if the state system is privatized, but Republicans have countered by saying that the 1,600 private sector stores will create additional opportunities for jobs — including union jobs.

Liquor store unions gave $140,000 in campaign donations to state-level candidates last year, according to a Pa. Independent report.

Corbett has supported privatization since he took office in 2011.

Polls have consistently shown a majority of Pennsylvanians are in favor of privatizing the liquor system, but the state monopoly set up in the wake of Prohibition has remained stubborn despite numerous attempts to end it, including efforts by the past two Republican administrations in Harrisburg during the 1980s and 1990s, accoring to a Pa. Independent report.

Gene Barr, president of the Pennsylvania Chamber of Commerce, was one of several people invited to the governor’s office recently to weigh in on the liquor plan.  He said Pennsylvania needs rethink how alcohol is sold.

The final plan should include more retail locations, including grocery stores and convenience stores, he said.

“Our view is that simply changing the person behind the counter isn’t good enough,” Barr told the Pa. Independent.

Jim February 03, 2013 at 07:33 PM
Ann: I stated I own my own business how can I be a union worker? Basically you called me a liar...plus you suggested I get new friends..again you didn't read, these "drunks" aren't my friends its the work pool I have to hire from...not all...but high percentage. I call it "construction mentality". Shame they are skilled workers with bad habits.They get their paycheck on Friday and drink it on the weekend. They are the ones who stated to me they're excited to get their six pack a Walmart to drink more after the bars close. Retract: mini mart because they have a DUI and have to walk hence why I have to drive them home after work. Too bad Unions aren't present in my line of work cause I could charge more and pay my guys more but instead I have fly by night guys charging $10 an hour w/o liability or workerscomp insurance making me reduce my price to be near competitive. Why do you thing you get a fair wage? Do I have to remind everyone why unions where established in the first place. I do agree they go over board, but they have made concessions and are more in line to my beliefs. Thanks for the conversation eveyone but I'm out of here. I have a business to run.
Ann February 03, 2013 at 07:54 PM
Jim, Believe me, no one wants to get you started if your past comments are you in neutral! You seem to have the opinion that everyone needs to see things from your point of view and what works for you and your family should work for all. News flash...people have different views and different life experiences. Try to get out f your box.
Martin Heldring February 03, 2013 at 08:16 PM
No worries Jim. I just think this is important conversation where facts are more appropriate than anecdotes. I asked because I cannot find any studies to support your assertions. Thought you might have them but I guess not.
bigben February 03, 2013 at 09:09 PM
all consumer goods and services should be privatized. You want state run supermarkets ?
Mike legacy April 08, 2013 at 02:24 AM
Open the state to online sales. I'm sick of having to order 6 bottles of the scotch I like because the dumbass state PLCB won't let me buy online (where prices are up to 30% cheaper on a lot of things, including my favorite scotch).


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »