Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett says the private study he commissioned to size up the state's liquor system calls for a privatization plan similar to one being pushed by the state House Majority Leader Mike Turzai.
While the Turzai plan pegged income from the sale of liquor licenses at $2 billion, the study released by the governor says the state could make up to $1.6 billion dollars from such a sale.
House G-O-P spokesman, Steve Miskin said the dollar amount is not the driving force behind the effort to privatize the system. "It's about should government be in the business of selling alcohol? Should it be in the business of promoting and selling alcohol? And to us it's a resounding no, no no," said Miskin.
Corbett said the two plans still need to be studied further before he will make an endorsement, however he said he would sign any viable liquor privatization bill that reaches his desk. "I would say that I am here five days a week from now until the end of my term. Actually, I'm here seven days a week, available. And if there's a will in the legislature to get it done, I think it'll get done," said Corbett.
Most Democrats are fighting privatization. "Privatization is a bad idea whose time has not come. It's going to cost thousands of jobs in Pennsylvania. It does not raise the kind of money its proponents claim," said House Democratic spokesman, Bill Patton.
No mater what the plan looks like when it makes it to the floor for a final vote, there will be a fight.
"If we were devising a system from scratch, we would not devise a system that the state controlled. However, that's not the case. We're dealing with the situation we have. The ripple effects of any legislation that involves liquor is something that we have to consider," said House Liquor Control Committee Republican Chairman John Taylor. Taylor has said he supports Turzai's privatization measure.