Poll: Public supports selling off state liquor stores to balance the budget


This will come as no shock to anyone who has railed against Pennsylvania's state-run liquor stores, but a Quinnipiac University poll released today reinforces those emotions.

The poll found that nine out of 10 Pennsylvania voters think the state’s budget problems are serious, and a majority favor selling the state liquor stores to help avert an estimated $4 billion shortfall next year.

The Quinnipiac survey found that two-thirds of the state's residents want the state to get out of the liquor and wine business — an approach advocated by Republican Gov.-elect Tom Corbett.

Privatization supporters say that closing the state's 620 stores and selling wholesale and retail liquor licenses to private operators could generate at least $2 billion in revenue.

It won't be easy. Other GOP governors have tried and failed to convince the legislature to change the system.

According to the poll, another budget-balancing option — laying off state workers — was supported by 51 percent, while leasing the Pennsylvania Turnpike to a private operator was opposed by 52 percent.

The poll of 1,584 voters was conducted in the week that ended Monday. It had a sampling error margin of plus or minus 2.5 percentage points.

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