Thursday, January 20, 2011

Governor responds to Democrat’s plan to introduce liquor legislation

The House Democrats fearing they will not get a chance to berate the Governor’s ABC privatization legislation decided to introduce it themselves. They concluded that they had waited long enough for a promised introduction by Republicans.

Democrats in the Senate are expected to kill it. The House Democrats would then not get a chance to let loose with the negative impact privatization would have on Virginia. Looks to be some “must watch streaming video” in this debate.

RICHMOND—In response to recent news reports that House Democrats plan to file ABC privatization legislation in that chamber, J. Tucker Martin, Director of Communications for Governor Bob McDonnell, issued the following statement.

“We are pleased by the news that a senior House Democrat, Delegate Bob Brink (D-Arlington), will introduce legislation to privatize ABC retail operations in the Commonwealth.

Delegate Brink was appointed to the Governor’s Commission on Government Reform and Restructuring, so he is well prepared to advance his legislation on this measure. We appreciate the House Democrats choosing Delegate Brink for this important legislation. His serious reputation confirms that, by sponsoring this bill, he endorses ending this archaic government monopoly. We know he wouldn’t put his good name on a measure that he doesn’t support. We will review his legislation closely prior to making specific comments about it.

For years, many Virginia Democrats have advocated transportation plans funded solely by massive tax increases on our citizens. Today’s announcement demonstrates that some of their members now recognize their massive tax hike plans are not supported by Virginians and that new ideas must be considered and advanced. We expect the House Democrats will discuss their position on tax increases at their press conference this afternoon.

ABC privatization is one of the many provisions contained in the comprehensive plan the Governor has outlined to use innovation and creativity to invest in transportation, without raising taxes. At today’s press conference we look forward to hearing of the House Democrats support for the total transportation agenda proposed by the Governor, and backed by 43 major transportation and business organizations statewide. After all, Delegate Brink, House Minority Leader Armstrong, and nearly every other House Democrat voted for the $3 billion in bonds from 2007 that the Governor now proposes to accelerate as a major component of that funding package.

ABC privatization, as laid out in our plan, will put hundreds of millions into roads without raising taxes. It will actually add $13 million annually to the General Fund through cost avoidance. It will eliminate a government monopoly and simply place Virginia among the other 32 states that have already privatized the sale of beer, wine and distilled spirits. It is a sound plan that is supported by the citizens and businesses of Virginia. It is fitting that it is being sponsored by Republican Senators in the Democratic controlled State Senate, and by a Democratic delegate in the Republican controlled House of Delegates. Washington D.C. could learn a thing or two from our bipartisan cooperation in Richmond.”

Posted By Valerie Garner

Categories: Politics, State Politics

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