CLEAR Urges Lawmakers to Reject Governor Corbett's Privatization Scheme

Mar 20, 2013, 10:27 ET from CLEAR Coalition

HARRISBURG, Pa., March 20, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The CLEAR Coalition today urged lawmakers to reject Gov. Corbett's scheme to dismantle the PA Liquor Control Board. This shortsighted "reform" is part of a flawed budget proposal that woefully underfunds vital state programs, including our public schools and vital healthcare services for our most vulnerable citizens. It also eliminates 5,000 strong middle class jobs, and threatens many others, at a time when Gov. Corbett's failed policies are eliminating, not growing, jobs for Pennsylvanians.

"This is just bad public policy all the way around. It threatens good, family-sustaining jobs. It threatens more than $500 million a year in revenues and profits for the state. And it threatens the public health and safety in every community in our state," said Rick Bloomingdale, President of the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO.

HB 790 jeopardizes 5,000 PLCB jobs, 1,100 local beer distributors and the 12,000 jobs that those distributors employ. The bill would create tens of thousands of retail outlets for the sale of beer, wine and spirits.

Gov. Corbett has slashed funding for our public schools by $1 billion since he took office while giving away hundreds of millions in corporate tax breaks. Despite these giveaways, our state's unemployment rate continues to climb above the national average.

"Governor Corbett refuses to address the tough challenges our state confronts and he refuses to lead on key issues, such as public education and creating jobs. Instead, we are wasting time debating bad legislation that will do nothing more than fatten the bottom line for our governor's corporate friends," said Kathy Jellison, President of SEIU 668.

CLEAR joins a growing list of groups opposing privatization, including MADD, SADD, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, the PA Fraternal Order of Police, Professional Firefighters, the NAACP, Pennsylvanians Concerned About Alcohol Problems, and the Association of Staff Nurses and Allied Professionals among others.

"Lawmakers need to reject this scheme. Governor Corbett was wrong to try and give our lottery away. He was wrong to throw 100,000 children off healthcare and he is wrong to try and dismantle this valuable public asset," said Dave Fillman, Executive Director of AFSCME Council 13. "He just cannot be trusted."