Liquor privatization plan still alive in Pa.

    Gov. Tom Corbett says the liquor privatization issue that has been a priority for him for more than a year is still the subject of negotiations.

    Progress ground to a halt last summer on plans to dismantle the Pennsylvania-controlled wine and liquor system and change the rules governing all alcohol sales. But Corbett says there’s still some fizz left in the bottle.

    “I think there is a lot of discussion going on that you all don’t see,” Corbett told reporters at an unrelated news conference Tuesday. He declined to elaborate. “There’s a reason we don’t tell you things – because it blows up then … we’re working on it.”

    He has a meeting with Republican legislative leaders scheduled for Monday. Liquor sales are likely to come up. GOP leaders have been talking amongst themselves and with top aides to the governor about the privatization issue for the past couple of weeks.

    But no one is pointing to any specific headway yet. Lt. Gov. Jim Cawley led the last round of reported negotiations on liquor privatization. On Wednesday, as he headed into the Capitol cafeteria, he was asked for the best indicator that liquor privatization stands a better chance this year than last.

    “We’re all still talking,” he said.

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