McDonnell hires outside consultant to study ABC privatization
As he continues to revamp his ABC privatization proposal, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) has hired an outside vendor to study the state's 76-year-old liquor system, according to a source familar with the consultant.
The PFM Group began work Tuesday. It bills itself as the nation's "leading provider of independent financial and investment advisory services,'' according to its Web site.
McDonnell spokesman Tucker Martin confirmed on Friday that the company had been hired, but said he could not say how much it will be paid because the contract had not yet been signed.
In recent weeks, some legislators and lobbyists say they have been talking to the governor's office about whether the state should give up only the retail stores while maintaining its monopoly on liquor wholesaling and distribution.
Martin declined to discuss details of the work PFM is doing other than to say the purpose of its study is to provide a "financial analysis regarding potential approaches to ABC privatization in the Commonwealth."
A spokesman for the Alcoholic Beverage Control referred questions to the governor's office.
PFM has done work for the state before and currently has a contract with the Virginia Port Authority, Martin said.
McDonnell unveiled a plan in September calling for the complete privatization of all aspects of the state system, which would produce a one-time windfall of at least $458 million for transportation. But he faces considerable opposition in both the Democratic-led Senate and GOP-controlled House of Delegates in part because the plan would bring in $47 million less each year to the state.
He abandoned plans to hold a special legislative session on the proposal this month after failing to garner enough votes, but will pursue it when lawmakers return to Richmond for their regular session in January. The 46-day legislative session begins Jan. 12.
McDonnell has two months to modify his proposal. House Speaker Bill Howell (R-Stafford) has recommended that McDonnell form a working group of legislators, wholesalers, distillers, retailers and others to hash out a compromise.
Del. David B. Albo (R-Fairfax) said a small legislative working group is considering looking at whether the state should give up only the retail stores while maintaining its monopoly on liquor wholesaling and distribution.
As we reported in September, Iowa and West Virginia, the only two states that have fully privatized their retail stores in the last two decades, each made less than $20 million upfront when they privatized. Officials in those states said the change helped them become more efficient and saved overhead costs, but never produced the anticipated windfall.
Other states have partially privatized stores. See a full list of 18 control states and what systems they use now.
| November 8, 2010; 7:00 AM ET
Categories: Anita Kumar, Liquor privatization, Robert F. McDonnell
Save & Share: Previous: Arlington must participate in Secure Communities
Next: Moran lays out his case for Democratic chairman
Posted by: anonymousid | November 8, 2010 11:54 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: jrmil | November 8, 2010 3:54 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: nwcmbrg57 | November 10, 2010 12:37 AM | Report abuse