State News

Lawmakers form alcohol control study committee

Posted February 18, 2010

— Legislative leaders have asked a study committee to complete a big job in a short time by suggesting reforms to North Carolina's alcohol sales system before the General Assembly reconvenes in May.

Senate leader Marc Basnight and House Speaker Joe Hackney announced Thursday a 28-member study committee will review the state's Alcoholic Beverage Control system.

“Our ABC system needs to evolve just like any other business,” Hackney said in a statement. “We need to determine how best to make these changes and bring our system in line with modern-day standards of ethics and transparency.”

The panel follows a WRAL Investigates report that the former New Hanover County ABC board administrator made $244,000 a year. Media also reported that a liquor company picked up the tab for an expensive dinner attended by Mecklenburg County ABC leaders.

The committee will consider the feasibility of private companies selling alcohol instead of government boards. Only local ABC boards can sell spirits. State government has limited control over how those agencies are operated.

“We already know that we need more accountability and ethics reform in the ABC system. What we need to explore further is what is working now and what we can improve,” Basnight said in a statement.

19 Comments

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  • heelrox Feb 18, 2010

    Liquor is cheaper in SC if you go to Green's or COSCO, 1/2 gal fo Seg-7 in NC 21.00 in SC 16.95

  • jas1022 Feb 18, 2010

    Let regular stores sell it!!! There, I just saved our crooked government millions!!!

  • disgusted2010 Feb 18, 2010

    Another sham study committee so the legislature will not have to take action. There are too many big local political fish in the small ABC Board ponds for the legislature or governor to actually fix the system and replace it with a more efficient system.

  • charlesboyer Feb 18, 2010

    "Get the State out of the liquor business. If private works for beer & wine...why not liquor? We already have a precedent...just do it the same way."

    Exactly. Why does the state involve itself in what should be private enterprise?

  • Vietnam Vet Feb 18, 2010

    Oh goodie!! Another study. I want to know why the State of North Carolina is even involved in the sale of alcohol??? Put it in the hands of the private sector and you'll eliminate all these problems and save the state a TON of $$$$. The state will still receive their tax revenue on the booze. Why waste the money on an entire beaurocracy to do something that is done quite well privately in other states!

  • lilluke0 Feb 18, 2010

    Hans,you got a real point there, just how much is this going to cost the tax payers? Gov.Bev.Purdue needs to get in on this during this State budget crisis and stop these furloughs there seems to be a lot of money floating around that these guys or ladies are paying themselves large ridiculous salaries even when she ask for a State Wide budget cut.
    "Question,"If we pay tax on this liquor why is it that the State has nothing to do them and revenue it generates?
    02182010

  • Clownsruletheworld Feb 18, 2010

    Why are the committees being formed? Probably because, shockingly enough, the government of North Carolina is afraid to do what needs to be done and ditch the ABC cash cow and let private industry sell liquor just like they do beer and wine.

    A person can get just as drunk off beer as they can off liquor. There is no difference, AT ALL! Also, Amen to the poster who said get rid of the blue laws. I tend to go to church on Sunday, but if I want to go buy a half-gallon of beam at 7:30 am on Sunday, why is that illegal? Last I heard, lunatic fringe Southern Baptist was not the state religion of NC. Why do their beliefs override mine? I love NC, born and bred in this beautiful place, but the rubes running things must still think they are in Mayberry or something.

  • JustOneGodLessThanU Feb 18, 2010

    Anyone know what may be going on in Kentucky, as QUESTIN EVERYTHING mentioned?

    I like the selection of beer in NC (now that we've popped the 6% cap, that is) and it seems reasonably priced.

  • IdoNOTliveinDurham Feb 18, 2010

    "Bev should step in and just shut it all down. She doesn't want people to have the right to drink a BEVerage I'm sure, so just shut it down Bev. NC doesn't need to buy booze from this state, we can get it from SC for a lot less!"

    Where it is far more costly at Myrtle Beach, beer is cheaper but not liquor

  • QUESTIN EVERYTHING Feb 18, 2010

    BE CAREFUL WHAT U ASK FOR, I MOVED TO KENTUCKY 12 YEARS AGO, EVERY TIME I GO BACK TO VISIT N.C. I AM AMAZED AT THE LOWER PRICE THAT IS CHARGED IN THE STORES THERE. EXAMPLE- 1.75l OF SMIRNOFF VODKA IS ALMOST $8.00 CHEAPER THERE THAN IN KENTUCKY.
    THE SELECTION IS ALWAY BETTER THERE TOO.THE STORES HERE ARE PRIVATE.

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