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Corbett unveils plan to privatize liquor sales - abc27 WHTM

Corbett unveils plan to privatize liquor sales

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) -

Governor Tom Corbett has unveiled his plan to get Pennsylvania out of the business of selling wine and liquor.

During a news conference Wednesday in Pittsburgh, Corbett said the three- to four-year process of selling wholesale and retail licenses would generate $1 billion in revenue to create educational grants for Pennsylvania's schools.

"My plan gets the state completely out of the liquor business," Corbett said. "The state will no longer be a marketer of alcohol. Instead, it will now focus on its role as a regulator."

Under the governor's proposal, more than 600 state-owned wine and liquor stores would be shut down and the entire liquor wholesale and retail system would be privately owned and operated.

The plan allows for up to 1,200 private wine and spirits stores.

Corbett said his plan would allow Pennsylvanians to buy bottles of wine and six-packs of beer at grocery stores. Six-packs could also be purchased at beer distributors and convenience stores, and retail stores like Target and Walmart could sell up to six bottles of wine and beer by the case.

The governor's plan calls for significantly higher fines for selling alcohol to minors and to visibly intoxicated customers. The minimum penalty would increase from $1,000 to $5,000 and the maximum fines would jump from $5000 to $10,000.

Corbett also proposed a 75 percent increase for alcohol treatment and prevention efforts.

He said his plan includes measures for affected PLCB employees, including tax credits for businesses that employ the former workers, educational credits, and civil service credits.

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