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Liquor Privatization Gets Another Push in PA

A bill in Pennsylvania would end state control of liquor sales, but other states have had regrets about privatization. In fact, a previous study from PHI's Alcohol Research Group showed that Washington state voters regretted having approved their state's ballot measure to end liquor controls there.


In the U.S., seventeen states control liquor sales, but efforts to privatize sales abound. In Pennsylvania, some legislators are seeking to end state regulation. But data from other states shows that voters are not always happy after privatization.

Previously, a study from PHI’s Alcohol Research Group showed that voters in Washington state regretted approving a similar ballot measure that ended that state’s liquor controls in 2011.

“Our study not only shows that many people changed their minds about privatization, but more importantly, the group who now say they wish they had voted no is large enough that the measure would have lost in 2011 had they known its real impact at the time,” said the Alcohol Research Group’s Meenakshi Sabina Subbaraman, the lead author of the new study.

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