Senate Majority Leader Opposes ABC Privitization
State Sen. Richard Saslaw (D-Fairfax) says Gov. McDonnell's plan to sell state-owned liquor stores is dead in the Senate.
Governor McDonnell says that he's hopeful that his Government Reform Commission can develop a workable strategy to privatize the state's ABC stores, so that he may call the legislature back for a special session this fall to get Virginia out of the liquor business. However, the stores generate 240 million dollars a year and Democratic Senate Majority Leader Dick Saslaw says there is no way to make up for this lost revenue from a one-time sale.
Saslaw: I would say that right now it would not pass; nor, is it even close--at least right now in the Senate; and I would doubt whether he could get it out of the House. The Distillers' Council has said there's no way you could make the numbers work without tripling the amount of booze that's consumed in the state of Virginia. I mean that's great that we're going to build roads by putting drunks out there driving these cars.
Governor McDonnell says Saslaw's dismissal of the issue is premature.
McDonnell: I know Senator Saslaw just wants to raise taxes. He's not really appearing to be that much interested in government reform, finding creative ways to come up with new money so that we don't have raise taxes. We can make 500 million or so for transportation, it's a good idea.
McDonnell says he'll continue to talk with Saslaw and other legislators in the House and Senate who may have objections. The governor says he believes that when his office releases their final proposal, all meritorious concerns will be addressed.