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Republican House member bill would get rid of Virginia ABC

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Legislation from Culpeper Republican Nick Freitas would get rid of the Virginia ABC in favor of allowing hard liquor sales in retail stores.

Why it won’t happen? Money.

Virginia ABC reported $1.4 billion in revenues in fiscal year 2021, and contributed $616.4 million to the state’s bottom line, including $237.3 million in profits from retail sales, $294 million in taxes and $85.1 million collected in wine and beer taxes.

You have to assume that at least the $237.3 million in profits would wash away if Freitas’s bill, HB 328, would see the light of day.

The legislation, which has just one co-patron, Fredericksburg Republican Phillip Scott, would open retail sales to businesses that currently hold off-premises wine and beer licenses.

The turnaround time spelled out in the bill, which would require ABC to complete an implementation study on how to privatize liquor sales by Jan. 1, 2023, is also a tad bit ambitious.

HB 328 was assigned Monday to a House subcommittee.

It doesn’t seem likely to get very far from there.

Which, good news, the West Virginia state line will still mean something.

Story by Chris Graham


augusta free press
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