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ABC privatization fought by local boards

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RALEIGH, NC (AP) -- The local government panels that operate North Carolina's 400-plus liquor stores are trying to head off potential efforts by the Legislature or Gov. Bev Perdue to privatize alcohol sales.

The lobbyist for the North Carolina Association of Alcoholic Beverage Control Boards wrote lawmakers last week urging them to oppose any privatization efforts. The letter says the current system controls liquor consumption while generating lots of government revenue. The association released the letter Monday.

The state ABC Commission is supposed to get estimates soon from a consultant about how much money the state could get if retail sales or distribution systems were handed to outsiders. Perdue said last week she wants that information before deciding whether to pursue it.

The Legislature would have to agree to changes.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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