Reporting David Highfield
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Gov. Tom Corbett is about to unveil his plan to privatize the state’s liquor sales.
A news conference is scheduled for Wednesday at 2 p.m. in Pittsburgh.
It’s expected that the plan will include closing more than 600 state stores as well as auctioning off 1,200 wine and liquor store licenses.
In addition, supermarkets, drug stores and big-box stores could get licenses to sell beer and wine. While convenience stores could be licensed to sell beer.
Current beer distributors are expected to be able to bid for licenses to also sell wine and liquor.
Nello DeSantes, owner of Save On Beer in Ross, says it will likely force him out of business. He says he doesn’t have the space or expertise to add wine and liquor. He also says he doesn’t have the money to afford one of the licenses.
The union representing state store workers has also consistently opposed privatization plans.
Gov. Corbett, however, says 70 percent of people in the state favor privatizing. He says Utah is the only other state that sells alcohol the way Pennsylvania does.
Furthermore, he says the money raised could be used to help fund things such as transportation, education and public employee pensions.