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Corbett announces plan for state exit from selling alcohol

By , - Last modified: January 30, 2013 at 4:01 PM

Gov. Tom Corbett announced a plan today to get the state totally out of the business of selling alcohol, including at the wholesale and retail levels, and use about $1 billion in privatization proceeds to fund education.

A bill is expected to be proposed shortly.

One of the biggest changes if the overhaul were to become law is that states stores would be replaced by private enterprises that obtained licenses auctioned by the state.

Cumulatively, proposed changes would mean consumer choice and convenience on par with what shoppers receive in neighboring states, Corbett and lawmakers repeated during the announcement.

The money raised from selling these and other licenses to private companies would go to education through the creation of the Passport for Learning Block Grant initiative.

Recipients would have flexibility in how to use the money, according to the administration.

Wholesale and retail privatization of wine and liquor sales originally was part of the big push to get the state out of the alcohol sales business in the last state legislative session.

But the bill was heavily amended in the state House, and even what remained never became law.

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