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Senator asks state auditors to doublecheck McDonnell's ABC plan

Rosalind Helderman

A leading Democrat in the state senate has formally asked the legislature's audit arm to review the figures in Gov. Bob McDonnell's proposal to privatize the state-run liquor system.

In a letter sent Tuesday, Sen. R. Edward Houck (D-Spotsylvania) requested that the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission perform an analysis of the impact on the Commonwealth of McDonnell's proposal, including the plans revenue projections for upfront cash from the sale of retail and wholesale licenses, its predictions of ongoing revenues from a new taxing structure for a private system and the plan's suggested use of money from the sale of the system for transportation.

Several skeptical lawmakers have suggested that instead of adopting McDonnell's plan outright, the General Assembly should ask JLARC to study privatization more thoroughly.

Houck's request seems aimed at a quicker turnaround--a double-check on the assumptions and projections made as part of the governor's complex proposal before the legislature meets in a special session to consider any plan. McDonnell has indicated he plans to call a session this fall; in the letter, Houck indicates that he believes McDonnell plans the session for November.

Houck writes that Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Colgan (D-Prince William) has also endorsed a JLARC analysis.

By Rosalind Helderman  | September 22, 2010; 11:05 AM ET
Categories:  Liquor privatization, Robert F. McDonnell, Rosalind Helderman, State Senate  
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why does the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission even have to be asked to do this?

I would of thought mcdonnell would have enough sense to of gotten this in the works as soon as his plan was finalized.

i guess mcdonnell figures the less everyone knows about the plan, the better.

Posted by: MarilynManson | September 22, 2010 12:37 PM | Report abuse

Good move. Also everybody should pause and take a look at the new report from the Marin Institute,, that talks about the unfortunate financial impact of privatization. Shows proven harm... more alcohol-related death, assault, etc. ... in other states and nations that have gone before us.

There's also a federal study that shows that underage drinkers prefer liquor. You get drunk quicker and it is easier to conceal mixed in sweet drinks kids prefer. Underage drinking (and alcohol consumption overall) will be up with distilled spirits in Virginia's big-box, grocery, drug stores and convenience stores, gas stations...available 24/7. Shoplift it. Liquor stores have shrinkage rates of .79 percent, grocery stores more than twice that: 2.42 percent, according to the Global Retail Theft Barometer.

Posted by: anonymousid | September 22, 2010 12:59 PM | Report abuse

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