HARRISBURG – June 29th, 2013 – Senator Vincent Hughes released the following statement on the liquor privatization proposal offered today by Pennsylvania Senate Republicans:

“Today, my Republican colleagues offered a plan to privatize the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board. Their proposal, which was offered on the Senate floor well after midnight, would essentially put liquor stores on every block in many communities, including many parts of my district. This is outrageous and completely unnecessary. These neighborhoods are not asking for easier access to alcohol. They are asking for jobs, education, public safety and other investments that will improve their quality of life. It’s simply outrageous that we are considering privatization when we are cutting funding to these exact programs in Governor Corbett’s proposed budget.

“This plan would not create jobs, despite what proponents claim. It would do the opposite by putting more than 5,000 hardworking employees who are currently employed at state stores around the Commonwealth out of work. That’s simply unacceptable, especially when our state is still struggling from the aftermath of the great recession.

“Perhaps this is all part of the plan. Maybe my colleagues on the Republican side want everyone to be inebriated so that they don’t see what is happening in Pennsylvania. But we know the truth. We know that if we put booze on every block and cut funding to critical social programs, people will fall behind. That’s wrong and I’ll keep fighting to defeat the privatization proposal in the Pennsylvania Senate.”

Senator Vincent Hughes represents the 7th Senatorial district and is Democratic Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee.