Pa. plan for sale of state stores begins taking shape

    Gov. Tom Corbett’s plan to privatize Pennsylvania’s liquor stores has started taking legislative form.

    State House Republican Majority Leader Mike Turzai, who’s sponsoring the proposal, has no delusions that it will emerge from negotiations unscathed.

    Already, Turzai (R-Allegheny) is softening his rhetoric about the bold plan to get rid of the more than 600 state stores, saying he thinks a “win” would be a plan that moves “toward” the private sale of wine and spirits.

    “Once the private sector gets the opportunity to sell wine and spirits, the state stores are … over time, they’re just not going to be able to compete,” he said Tuesday.

    He’s vowing to send a privatization bill to the Senate by early April.

    The chairman of the state House Liquor Control Committee is passing around a list of potential changes to the bill to keep the state stores open and sell fewer liquor licenses.

    The move isn’t sitting well with the Commonwealth Foundation, a conservative group that supports the governor’s plan.

    Its president is criticizing the draft amendment, saying such changes wouldn’t mean real privatization.

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