Don't privatize, modernize
It was encouraging to read in the news story “Despite vow, governor faces same battles on LCB privatization” (Dec. 6 and TribLIVE.com) that lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are willing to put aside political differences to focus on improving the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board.
Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi, R-Delaware County, and House Minority Leader Frank Dermody, D-Oakmont, told the Trib that modernizing the PLCB makes sense — regardless of how the debate over privatizing this public asset plays out. A growing number of lawmakers recognize that consumers can gain greater convenience and the state can realize more revenue.
The math is compelling: The PLCB generates more than $500 million a year in taxes and profit. If a handful of commonsense proposals are enacted, it could generate an additional $150 million annually. That's real money.
These proposals include direct shipment of wine to consumers' homes and expanding the number of stores open on Sundays and those stores' hours. The PLCB should be allowed self-service lottery machines in the stores and should have more flexibility in pricing and staffing.
I oppose privatization principally because the PLCB employs 5,000 fellow Pennsylvanians in family-sustaining jobs. Everyone expects most of these jobs would be lost under privatization. But I can support modernization and am hopeful that a majority of lawmakers in both parties can come together on this issue.
The writer is executive director of the North Side-based community advocacy group Pittsburgh United (pittsburghunited.org).
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Good riddance
- Incomprehensible? That’s Obama
- Not taxpayers’ responsibility
- Reverse red-kettle ban I
- Reverse red-kettle ban II
- Youth & work ethic
- Punishment pushback II
- Punishment pushback I