Monday, April 20, 2009
Pennsylvania State Senator Rob Wonderling of Montgomery County says Pennsylvania has no business operating wine and liquor stores. The Republican says Pennsylvania's 2.3 billion dollar budget gap underscores the need to privatize liquor stores. He and others have pushed for state store privatization before, but Wonderling says this year's budget crisis gives weight to his argument. Wonderling wants to auction off the liquor licenses, which he says could earn the state up to 500 million dollars. “Use the proceeds from the sale of those stores to fund something that's more critical and that citizens view as more important,” says Wonderling. “Such as health care, high-speed passenger rail, investments in infrastructure.” Wonderling says President Obama's recent push for high-speed rail development is good incentive for the state to invest the auction proceeds in a better Pittsburgh to Philadelphia train route. He introduced a similar measure last session, and will officially announce the bill later this month.