Dear Editor:

I want to acknowledge Gov. Tom Corbett’s recent school safety initiative by recognizing its importance and by putting a figure of up to $1 billion on the protection of our children in schools.

This increase in funding from the previous line item of $500,000 is one of the most proactive decisions of any Pennsylvania governor.

His recognition that school safety cannot simply receive lip service should tell Pennsylvanians how serious he is about keeping our schools and children safe, but auctioning our wine and spirit shops is not the way to back up such an initiative.

One billion dollars will change forever how school safety initiatives are funded, and I credit the governor for his commitment. It certainly seems the days of unfunded mandates are finished. However, using the privatization and sale of the state liquor stores to fund our children’s safety simply does not mix.

Taking jobs away from the working class, as his latest privatization effort would do to the tune of 5,000 PLCB employees, hurts the same families who Corbett seemingly wants to protect.

If Corbett is searching for funding sources to protect the safety of our children, I would ask him to not target the working man but instead look to Pennsylvania’s Legislature, which is the second largest and the most funded in the United States.

Reducing the legislature by half could save the taxpayers more than $50 million a year. I can think of no better way to protect our schools than to lead by example.

As a legislator, I have already co-sponsored legislation that would begin this process. It would also make tremendous sense to create a non-elected commission whose responsibility would include redistricting as part of the overall strategy to downsize the Pennsylvania legislature. I would ask the governor to get behind this proposal.

With that said, I still will not support the privatization of liquor on the backs of the working class. I will not support the privatization of liquor as an ultimatum to representatives and senators who all know too well the importance of protecting our school children.

State Rep. Kevin Haggerty

D-Lackawanna

(2) comments

Albert Brooks
Albert Brooks

The fact is that there aren't 5000 people who work for the PLCB and of those that do a third are part time. The regulatory and licensing portions would grow to cover the additional licenses and establishments selling wine and beer.
The people of PA have consistently and for decades wanted the PLCB out of the retail business. Why do you think you know better then what the people want? The progress of a state of 13million should not be held hostage by 3500 clerks.

Privatization IS Modernization

my2cents
my2cents

Thank goodness State Representative Haggerty doesn't represent me! If he did, I'd do my best to see he was defeated. He seems to think our Stater Government exists to run liquor stores so some people can have government jobs there. Does he really think this is governing? Our elected officials need to finally see the light and get us out of running retail stores NOW. Hopefully the people of Lacawanna will also elected a better representative at the next election.

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