Privatization is a terrible idea and we need to stop it.
Don't be deceived by the "price tag" of selling the liquor stores--that is a one-time capital income. Wine and Spirits shops bring in more than $500 million a year for Pennsylvania, which goes to funding schools, hospitals and other vital services. Privatizing would mean we’d lose that revenue. That means every year there is $500M missing which requires us to either cut more public services or raise taxes to make up the difference.
Furthermore, Wine and Spirits employees are NOT paid by your taxes. Their salaries are covered by the cost of the alcohol. (Therefore, privatizing will NOT lower your taxes.)
Privatizing would eliminate 5000 middle-class jobs. These individuals won't get easy jobs elsewhere. There are only so many civil service positions throughout the state and big box stores don't need to hire more employees to put more products on the shelf. Furthermore, those PLCB employees are very knowledgeable about what they sell; you won't get that kind of service from a big box store...and small stores won't be able to afford licenses.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also has warned states not to privatize alcohol services because of the risk it poses to public safety. PLCB employees are held accountable--they can lose their jobs for selling alcohol to underage or intoxicated individuals.
PLCB provides a wide selection of reasonably-priced alcohols. Because it is a large organization, they have buying power to procure more brands and keep them at good prices. In other states, like Washington State, where they forced through privatization of state-run stores, prices went up and selection went down for consumers.
To summarize: don't trust the claims that privatizing will benefit Pennsylvania. It would kill 5,000 middle-class jobs, take away $500 million annually in revenue that goes to support Pennsylvania schools, hospitals and other vital services and could lead to less selection and higher prices for consumers. Stop HB790 and similar legislation to privatize the PLCB!
Nicole Hoover started this petition with a single signature, and now has 454 supporters. Start a petition today to change something you care about.