What Do You Think?: Does the PLCB Deserve Another Chance

Yesterday, Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board officials went to the Capitol in Harrisburg to fight Tom Corbett’s efforts to privatize the beleaguered 78-year old agency, as reported in today’s Inquirer. This is not a new initiative, with Dick Thornburgh calling for the same way back in the days of Three Mile Island. But with “I Mean Business” Corbett at the Commonwealth’s helm, the threat is a real one, and the folks at the PLCB are nervous. So, they’ve come up with a plan to modernize. What a concept.

Some of their proposals:

• Change the way that wines and spirits are marked up. Right now, all products get a 30-percent markup plus over 20-percent in taxes. They’d like to have the flexibility to change these fixed numbers.

• Increase the number of stores with Sunday hours and allow all Sunday stores to remain open until 7 p.m. instead of 5 p.m.

• Allow residents of Pennsylvania to order wine by mail order from virtually any winery. Currently, mail order is basically restricted to shipments from wineries in the state.

• Do away with the civil-service exam for folks who want to work in the wine store and get rid of the lifelong slacker employees that give the stores a bad name.

• Allow bars to stay open all night and decrease the legal drinking age to 18. Okay, just kidding.

As the Inquirer tells it, some of the lawmakers – including those in favor of privatization – seemed receptive.

But what do you think?

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