Governor Tom Corbett wants to transition Pennsylvania out of the liquor business over a four year period and use the proceeds for education. The privatization plan would change the distribution of liquor from the wholesale to retail levels.
During the phase in, the governor expects the plan to generate one billion dollars, which would be used to create the Passport to Learning Block Grant Program for public education.
Governor Corbett says he does not simply want to trim the system a little here or there. He says if we are to gain the advantages of greater consumer choice and greater consumer convenience, we should not do it half way.
The Governor added that the plan includes tax credits for businesses that employ separated LCB workers, educational credits, civil service credits and other efforts to help displaced employees.
The Governor’s plan would double the current number of wine and spirits stores to 1200. It would require new alcohol retailers, such as wine and spirits stores, grocery stores, pharmacies and convenience stores to use an ID scanner device before they can sell alcohol. Fines would be increased for selling to minors and visibly intoxicated persons. The additional money from license surcharges and increased fines would be designated for enforcement efforts.
The Governor also proposes increasing alcohol treatment and prevention efforts.
Governor Corbett released details of the plan surrounded by by a number of state house Republicans. House majority leader Mike Turzai , whose own privatization effort fell short, said there’s a lot of energy in the house. He said the Governor is doing something historical in taking the lead on the issue.