RICHMOND — For months, aides to Virginia Gov. Robert F. McDonnell have been meeting behind closed doors with alcohol retailers and wholesalers, public safety officials and faith-based groups to come up with a way to fulfill one of the governor’s most notable campaign promises: privatizing the state’s liquor stores.
The consequences of what they come up with are potentially enormous and would amount to one of the most noticeable changes in the relationship between Virginians and their government in years, if not decades.
For the drinking-age public, a privatized system could mean many more liquor stores, a much wider variety of libations and lower prices. Like beer and wine, liquor could be sold in grocery stores, big-box stores such as Wal-Mart or anywhere else a licensed dealer chooses to locate.
For the state’s ailing transportation network, it would mean a jolt of fresh cash that McDonnell (R) urgently needs as part of his plan to fix roads.
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