Corbett Proposes Privatized Liquor Sales To Raise School Funds - New York News

Corbett Proposes Privatized Liquor Sales To Raise School Funds

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Gov. Tom Corbett spoke Wednesday on his plan to privatize liquor sales in order to better fund Pennsylvania public schools.

The governor says his plan will raise $1 billion in revenue over the next four years.

Corbett pitched his plan as continuing to make change for the better by freeing Pennsylvanians from the burden of living with an antiquated liquor system, one that has been in place for 75 years.

Opponents fear the move will cost the state money and a lot of union jobs. Others worry about the community impacts of an alcohol sale expansion.

Corbett, however, says he just wants to give the same choice and convenience to Keystone State residents as residents of 48 other states have, allowing them flexibility and control over their purchases.

"It is up to each individual make the choice on how to buy, what to buy, and where to buy," Corbett said.

Corbett and his team have created a plan that will phase out Pennsylvania's current liquor system over the next four years. Beer and wine will be allowed in grocery stores, restaurants can sell beer and wine to go and retail licenses for the sale of wine and spirits will be auctioned off.

Currently, Pennsylvanians are spending close to $80 million per year on alcohol from states like New Jersey and Maryland.

Corbett assured that this transition into the private sector will be made safe by increases in law enforcement as well as alcohol treatment and prevention methods.

Most importantly, the increased revenue from privatized sales will directly support Pennsylvania schools. The governor announced his Passport to Education block grant, enabled by the sale of liquor licenses, which will go toward safety measures in schools, early and individualized learning, and STEM.

"The selling of alcohol is not a core responsibility of government," he said, "but education is."

The governor's plan and new grant will allow for greater career exploration activities and partnerships between high schools and post-secondary institutions.

"Our plan to end the state monopoly of wine and spirits marks an important step in progress for our citizens and our economy," Corbett said.

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