PA liquor stores could become private stock

    A Senate Republican says Pennsylvania’s 2.3 billion dollar budget gap means it’s time to privatize state-owned liquor stores.

    A Senate Republican says Pennsylvania’s 2.3 billion dollar budget gap means it’s time to privatize state-owned liquor stores.

    Listen:
    [audio: 090417sdauction.mp3]

    Senator Rob Wonderling, a Republican representing parts of Montgomery, Bucks, Lehigh and Northampton counties, says Pennsylvania has no business operating wine and liquor stores.

    He and others have pushed for state store privatization before, but Wonderling says this year’s budget crisis gives weight to his argument.

    Wonderling wants to auction off the liquor licenses, which he says could earn the state up to 500 million dollars.

    Wonderling: Use the proceeds from the sale of those stores to fund something that’s more critical and that citizens view as more important. Such as health care, high-speed passenger rail, investments in infrastructure.

    Wonderling says President Obama’s recent push for high-speed rail development is good incentive for the state to invest the auction proceeds in a better Pittsburgh to Philadelphia train route.

    He introduced a similar measure last session, and will officially announce the bill later this month.

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