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Modernization is the key to LCB

Published January 19. 2013 09:03AM

Dear Editor:

It's unfortunate that State Rep. Jerry Knowles would rather play politics with the jobs of 5,000 fellow Pennsylvanians than offer meaningful solutions to our state's most pressing challenges (Sell the LCB and use all proceeds on Pa's roads and bridges, January 12, 2013.)

The PA Wine and Spirits shops generate more than $500 million a year in taxes and profits for all of the state's taxpayers. They provide 5,000 family-sustaining jobs. Rep. Knowles' proposal is a dodge, at best. He should be compelled to offer a realistic, meaningful solution to our transportation funding challenges.

At the same time, all lawmakers should focus their attention on helping to modernize the PA Liquor Control Board (PLCB) to improve efficiencies, customer convenience and the bottom line.

In the last session of the legislature, several proposals were offered by Republicans and Democrats to modernize the PLCB. These bipartisan proposals include direct shipment of wine to consumers' homes; expanding the number of stores open on Sundays and allowing them to be open for longer hours; and offering self-service lottery machines in the stores.

If a handful of common sense proposals are enacted, the PLCB could generate $75 million more annually. That's real money.

A one-time 'windfall' that would be spent in two or three years and jeopardize 5,000 jobs, as Rep. Knowles proposes, is silly and irresponsible.

The wisest path forward is modernization, and I urge lawmakers to support these proposals.

Wendell W. Young, IV

Chair, United Foodand Commercial Workers of PA Wine and Spirits Council

President, UFCW Local 1776

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