People React to Governor’s Plan to Privatize State Liquor Sales

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GREAT BEND -- Laurie Pomeroy owns a hair salon in Great Bend, and it sits right across from a grocery store.

Laurie said when she goes food shopping, she may not be able to get everything on her list.

If she wants to pick up a bottle of wine, or a case of beer, or some liquor she can't do it all in one place in Susquehanna County so she drives across the state line into New York.

"I definitely think it's more regulated, I don't know if that's a good thing or a bad thing. I think New York state does have the advantage because you can purchase it right in the grocery stores," said Laurie Pomeroy of Great Bend.  

Governor Tom Corbett unveiled his plan to privatize state liquor sales.

The plan includes auctioning 1,200 wine and liquor store licenses.

He also wants to open beer and wine sales to several retailers, with the proceeds going to education.

Governor Corbett expects the plan would generate an extra $1 billion in revenue for Pennsylvania over several years, something Jordan David, who is visiting Pennsylvania from Nevada, is very familiar with.

"All the tax and everything is used in the local economy, and it's a big chunk of our road and highways and all our funds to do most of the construction projects and schools," said David.

Right now, in Pennsylvania you can only buy wine and liquor at state liquor stores. The amount of beer you can buy is determined by whether you buy it at a distributor or at a different type of store.

All that would change if Governor Corbett gets his way. Distributors would be allowed to sell six packs of beer, and grocery stores would be able to sell both beer and wine.

"I think it'd be more convenient obviously for the normal person who doesn't want to go to a beer distributor and get a whole case of beer, and they can get a six-pack or wine for dinner," said Jennifer Manzo of Hallstead.

There have been many proposals to try to privatize state liquor sales over the past 30 years.

Those have all failed.

The governor's proposal now heads to the state legislature.

There is no word on how long that process will take.

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