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Liquor privatization battle brewing in Virginia

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August 25, 2010

By Kyle Maichle

RICHMOND, Virginia: A special session of the Virginia General Assembly awaits as a battle is brewing over privatizing state run liquor stores[1].

Following through on a campaign promise, Governor Bob McDonnell wants to privatize liquor stores and licenses that are operated through the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control in order to raise funds for transportation projects[1].

As the Governor is going to town hall meetings to sell the plan across the Commonwealth, Democrats leading the State Senate are skeptical of the plan. Majority Leader Richard Saslaw (D-Fairfax County) doubted McDonnell's plan by stating: "right now that it would not pass...nor is it even close in the Senate, and I would doubt whether he could get it out of the House."

Saslaw opposes the plan by citing actual revenues from Ohio's recent liquor privatization efforts have fell short of its projections. J. Tucker Martin, a spokesman for the Governor, claimed that the Majority Leader's projections were flawed by citing that Ohio's efforts only involved liquor stores and not individual licenses[1].

The Governor's Reform Commission on ABC privatization meets on September 8, 2010. If the plan is approved by the Commission, lawmakers will return back to Richmond in October or November of 2010 to convene for a special session[1].

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