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Two Northern Va. Lawmakers Voice Skepticism On Liquor Plan At Town Hall

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State Senator Toddy Puller and State Delegate Scott Surovell both say the Governor's ABC Privatization plan doesn't make financial sense for Virginia.
Jonathan Wilson
State Senator Toddy Puller and State Delegate Scott Surovell both say the Governor's ABC Privatization plan doesn't make financial sense for Virginia.

By Jonathan Wilson

In Virginia, two Democratic state lawmakers from Fairfax County held a town hall meeting to discuss the Governor's liquor store privatization plan with local voters Monday night.

Governor Bob McDonnell says the sale of liquor licenses would raise a one-time revenue bump of nearly $500 million for transportation needs, but would come up about $20 million short of matching the revenue state liquor stores bring in annually right now.

That isn't close enough for freshman democratic state Delegate Scott Surovell, who co-hosted the town hall with state Senator Toddy Puller.

"We had to cut secondary education, for the first time in the state we cut Medicaid," says Surovell of this year's budget process. "Anytime you're talking about pinching the general fund more than we already have is going to be a really hard sell."

Tess Ailshire was one of the few people at the town hall to speak in favor of privatizing state liquor stores. She says she isn't so concerned about the revenue, she just doesn't think the government should be in the business of selling liquor.

"I don't think the state should profit from any kind of retail business." says Ailshire.

Both Surovell and Puller say unless the Governor makes serious changes to his plan, he does not have the votes to get it approved.

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