Delegate Morrissey Calls for ABC Referendum
Democratic Delegate Joe Morrissey of Henrico says he believes Governor Bob McDonnell’s plan for ABC privatization is flawed, but says the ultimate decision should be made by the citizens and not the legislature. Craig Carper reports.
Governor McDonnell has drawn criticism lately from legislators, as well as various interest groups, for his proposal to close the state’s 332 ABC stores in favor of selling 1,000 liquor licenses to private retail outlets to generate 450 million dollars for state roadways.
Delegate Joe Morrissey says money raised by the license sales will generate only 5 percent of the funds necessary to fix Virginia’s struggling transportation system and says that putting the decision in the hands of the legislature allows the Governor to shift the blame for inaction on transportation reform should the proposal be defeated. So Morrissey suggests a referendum on the issue.
Morrissey: If we give them a shot with a referendum then it can’t be a partisan issue, there can’t be blame placed with Republicans or Democrats, Independents, Libertarians, vegetarians, if the people have said no.
Morrissey says while he speaks for himself, he has talked to no one within the House Democratic Caucus in favor of the Governor’s plan and says some House Republicans are also unsure of the proposal.
Senate Majority Leader Dick Saslaw has said that ABC privatization is dead on arrival in the Democratic-controlled Senate.
Craig Carper, WCVE News, Capitol Square