Corbett's Plan To Get PA Out Of The Booze Business Gets Mixed Re - New York News

Corbett's Plan To Get PA Out Of The Booze Business Gets Mixed Reviews

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The stocked shelves are seen at State Store 1506 on East Lancaster Ave. in Downingtown Wednesday. The stocked shelves are seen at State Store 1506 on East Lancaster Ave. in Downingtown Wednesday.
DOWNTINGTOWN, Pa. -

Gov. Corbett's plan to move Pennsylvania out of the booze business seems to be a hit with most customers. But that doesn't mean passage of the controversial plan isn't a long shot.

FOX 29's Bruce Gordon spent his day at State Store 1506 on East Lancaster Ave. in Downingtown Wednesday.

The store is big and bright and clean.

The staff seems helpful.

The shelves are packed, and there are more than a few "sale" signs on the wine and liquor.

So why does midday customer Cathy Gallagher seem so unhappy?

"It's too expensive, there's not a good enough selection, they're not open late enough," said Gallagher, rattling off a list of complaints.

She- like a majority of Pennsylvanians- is solidly behind Gov. Corbett's plan to revamp PA's booze business.

"I think it should definitely go private."

As Cathy checks out- $46 for a couple of bottles of red wine and a bottle of vodka- she envisions a system that mirrors what most states already enjoy: "More competition, cheaper prices, more stores."

Supporters say the Corbett plan- close state stores, auction off nearly double that many liquor licenses, and loosen the rules that govern whether beer, wine and spirits may be sold under one roof- would keep their dollars at home.

No more trips to New Jersey or Delaware to stock up for the big party.

Jim Bernard of Coatesville, who we found shopping the aisles of the State store, likes the idea of streamlining the sale of alcohol.

"I've got to make two trips. Just what I've got to do now- come here first, and then I go to the beer distributor…(and) try and fit it in during lunch."

Not everyone supports the governor's plan.

Unionized state store workers fear privatization would cost them their jobs.

And then there are guys like Anthony D'Adezzio. He co-owns a nearby beer distributorship, but wonders what the price tag will be on those new auctioned-off retail licenses.

"I just don't know if we'd be able to compete or not," he told FOX 29's Gordon. "My brother runs it and manages it and supports his family. So we're very nervous about it."

The governor's proposal is, for now, just that- a proposal. Pennsylvania has been down this road before.

This time, as in the past, expect unions to be joined by social conservatives, looking to beat back attempts to make it easier to buy alcohol, in an unusual, but powerful, opposition tea,

Frustrated customers will likely have no such organization.

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