Key N.C. Legislator Signals Openness to Liquor Store Privatization


North Carolina is one of 13 states that still utilizes government-run liquor stores at the retail level. While privatization is often a difficult battle in control states, a key state legislator recently signaled an openness to the idea, although he expressed concern about potential lost revenue. The Citizen Times reports:

Republican N.C. Sen. Chuck Edwards told a conservative business group Friday he was open to privatizing government-controlled liquor sales and that a committee he is chairing has some sway over the issue.

"Lots of folks already are coming to me and talking about changes to North Carolina's antiquated ABC laws to make things streamlined both for folks who administer that and for business," said Edwards, who represents part of Buncombe County including Asheville and all of Henderson and Transylvania counties…

Privatization proponents, such as Edward's fellow Henderson Republican NC Rep. Chuck McGrady, say ABC scandals are a good argument to get government out of liquor sales.

McGrady chairs the House ABC board and last month said he is "intent" on making the change. 

Edwards chairs the Senate's Commerce and Insurance Board that would also review such a shift. But in comments after the speech Edwards said he would only support the change if revenue lost by local governments could be replaced…

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