Virginia keeps its ABC stores

A Virginia state senator has proposed a bill to privatize the state's ABC liquor and wine stores and give private businesspeople the opportunity to sell alcoholic beverages.

It didn't stand a chance.

Sen. Mark Obenshain, R-Harrisonburg, proposed the bill to the Rehabilitation and Social Services Committee Friday morning. The committee voted 13 to 2 to kill the bill.

"The time for state run ABC stores has come and gone. It's time to enter the post-prohibition era," he said. " ... I think it's about time that Virginia join the vast majority of other states."

Thirty four states have privatized alcohol sales. However, Virginia's ABC stores do not keep any of the money they earn. All revenues is sent directly to the state treasury, which last year received ABC revenue of $103,410, 283.

Opposition to the privatization bill was primarly because other senators were fearful of cutting off a state revenue stream in a recessionary economy.

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