The head of Pennsylvania’s Liquor Control Board is not ready to fold his cards and unplug the lights. LCB Chief Executive Joe Conti told said he can remake the agency if he’s given more time and latitude.
Conti wants more control over pricing, hiring and hours of operation. Telling the Senate Law and Justice Committee with that he can turn the LCB into a larger diamond for the state. Give customers what they truly want and LCB will become a fatter cash cow.
Conti must feel the heat with Governor Corbett and a slew of legislators in favor of selling off the state’s 600 plus run liquor stores, especially in coming up with enough cash to plug one of billions of holes in Pennsylvania’s $4 billion dollar budget deficit.
“We are in the middle of a real phase of modernization,” Conti said. “These are the final initiatives we need to get where we’d like to be three to five years from now.”
House Majority Leader Mike Turzai, (R-Allegheny), intends to introduce a bill to privatize the LCB by summer. Turzai is quoted in the Philadelphia Inquirer, “who honestly thinks we in state government should be in the sale of wine and spirits?”
Conti says if the LCB gets the green light it would open more stores on Sundays, change the formula for pricing wine and liquor, offer discounts, and reduce the amount of money new hires are paid if Conti could hire from outside the civil service pool.
(Eric Epstein’s piece on “Last Call for Overhaul,” gives every reason why its truly time for the state to part with its hand in the business of selling liquor. You can read that story by clicking on Rock The Capital.)
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