Pa. Dems resist push to privatize liquor, wine

(AP Photo/The News & Observer, Chuck Liddy) (AP Photo/The News & Observer, Chuck Liddy)

February 24, 2011 11:53:30 AM PST
A push to privatize wine and liquor stores in Pennsylvania is getting no support from a panel of Democratic state lawmakers meeting in Philadelphia.

Nate Benefield, director of policy research for the Harrisburg-based Commonwealth Foundation, says selling the state monopoly will give consumers more choice, more convenience and lower prices.

But Wendell Young, who represents the public employees of the Wine and Spirit stores, testified Thursday that state control ensures good jobs and responsible alcohol sales.

Many members of the House Democratic Policy Committee solidly backed Young, saying privatization will hurt the state financially and create more social ills.

Gov. Tom Corbett and other Republicans contend privatization could help close a projected multibillion-dollar budget deficit.