Call to privatize ABC stores not well received in some quarters

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Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob McDonnell has proposed privatizing the state’s ABC stores as one way to fund improvements to the state’s transportation system.

However, the ink was barely dry on his 20-page plan, released yesterday, before criticism began raining down today from Democratic legislators and some educators. They claim the approach would divert funds from public education since about $100 million now generated by the state’s more than 330 stores goes into the state’s General Fund.

In his proposal, McDonnell said privatizing ABC stores could raise an estimated $500 million for road improvements.  Other suggestions: adding tolls on Interstates 85 and 95, bumping the speed limit to 70 miles per hour on some interstates and setting aside some sales tax collections in Northern Virginia to pay for regional road projects there.

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