Union leader defends Pa. state-run liquor sales

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Pennsylvania’s state-owned liquor and wine stores do a better job collecting taxes, enforcing the drinking age and offering a broad selection of products at competitive prices than private operators would, the head of the largest state-store employee union said today.

Wendell W. Young IV, whose union represents about 2,500 people, said privatization advocates’ estimate of a $2 billion windfall from the sale of liquor licenses is greatly exaggerated and that annual revenues may fall $180 million shy of the roughly $500 million a year the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board now generates.

Republican Gov. Tom Corbett has endorsed the privatization of the liquor and wine business, largely because the expected additional revenue would help address the state’s budget problems.

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