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Tillis to Gov.: 'Thanks, but...'

Incoming Republican House Speaker Thom Tillis says lawmakers will do their own analysis to determine whether privatizing the state's liquor-sales system is worth the effort. His counterpart in the Senate, Phil Berger, says any move needs to be carefully considered

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Thom Tillis
By
Laura Leslie

Here’s the response from incoming Republican House Speaker Thom Tillis:

“We have not seen the data the Governor has used a basis for her decision, so we are not yet in a position to make an assessment. Privatizing the ABC system will be considered as part of our broader analysis of the scope of government as we look for opportunities to solve the budget crisis.

"We will begin with the analysis the Governor’s staff has completed, and we will complete our own assessment as we identify areas we may privatize. It is imperative that we leverage public/private partnerships to put North Carolina on sound fiscal footing.

"As part of any decision-making process, we welcome the participation and seek the advice of the Governor and her staff. We look forward to working with the Governor to find the best possible solution for North Carolina.”

Meanwhile, incoming Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger sounds a bit more open to Perdue's position:

"I share Gov. Perdue’s concerns regarding the sustainability of revenue derived from the ABC system. Our state is facing a massive $3.7 billion budget deficit and a nearly 10 percent unemployment rate. Our No. 1 priority must be to balance the budget and foster an environment where the private sector can create jobs.

"I believe that we should continue to look at opportunities for privatizing governmental functions and continue to consider privatizing the ABC system. However, the decision to privatize should be a carefully considered long-term policy decision and not a short-term decision based on the state’s budget situation.”

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