The liquor privatization plan that Gov. Tom Corbett unveiled Wednesday would:
– Close the 620 state stores that now sell most wine and liquor in Pennsylvania. The $400 million in estimated savings plus a projected increase in fees and fines would offset the loss of the current $550 million markup on liquor and wine sold by the state stores.
– Sell licenses to private wholesalers, as many as 1,200 retail wine and liquor stores, and an indeterminate number of retailers including big-box stores, grocery stores, pharmacies and convenience stores that would be licensed to sell beer and wine.
– Use the $1 billion from license sales to finance a proposed Passport for Learning block grant to finance certain projects in public schools over four years.
– Be accompanied by a $5 million boost for alcohol enforcement by state police and a $1.5 million increase for treatment and prevention. Proposed stiffer penalties include a maximum $10,000 fine for serving a minor and loss of license for a second offense.