Corbett endorses privatizing liquor stores

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Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Corbett announced Tuesday that he wants to privatize the state-run liquor store system, arguing that Pennsylvania needs more revenue and should cut loose from the 77-year-old business.

"We need to move our state out of the 19th century and refocus state government on its core functions and services for our residents," Mr. Corbett said in a news release.

Mr. Corbett said that if he is elected governor, he will present a privatization plan that "addresses the state's need for additional funds" while minimizing the impact on the system's unionized workers.

Earlier this year, neither Mr. Corbett nor his opponent seemed ready to endorse the idea to privatize liquor stores, an idea proposed by state Rep. Mike Turzai, R-Bradford Woods.

In a June e-mail to the Post-Gazette, Mr. Corbett said that the idea "should be an option," but did not openly back it.

A spokesman for Democratic candidate Dan Onorato wrote in an e-mail to the Post-Gazette Tuesday that Mr. Onorato would "consider any proposal" but currently does not support the privatization of liquor stores.

"The current system generates hundreds of millions of dollars of revenue to help balance the budget..." said Brian Herman. Mr. Onorato plans to make the state system more "consumer-friendly," but is looking elsewhere for savings, he said.

-- Vivian Nereim


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