Lawmakers scramble to avoid liquor store closures

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  • I M LDS 2 Provo, UT
    April 7, 2011 1:22 p.m.

    Let me see if I understand this. The Utah Legislature passed a budget law that required the closing of a number of profitable state-run liquor stores.

    Gov. Herbert SIGNED that into law.

    Then, when public outcry reaches crescendo, and in the same way he backpeddled on HB477 (and will do with GRAMA, too), The Most High and Honorable Governor Herbert has the audacity to insult our collective intelligence with this:

    "Herbert, who has been questioning the wisdom of closing stores that make money for the state, said the plan to close stores 'is really causing anguish around the state and is, I think, probably the wrong thing to do.'"

    Gov. Herbert. Why, may I ask, did you SIGN the thing in the FIRST place???

  • Lilljemalm Gilbert, AZ
    April 7, 2011 1:04 p.m.

    Per Verispan and the NCSL, the state with the highest perscription drug abuse rate is West Virginia, followed by Alabama, South Carolina, Tennessee, Arkansas, Louisiana, Kentucky and Missouri. Those are also states with above average alcohol abuse related problems. Utah is in the bottom half of the list.
    Washington state has adopted several of Utah's liquor laws and has a government monopoly on liquor stores. They recently closed several stores there, too.

  • LOL holladay, utah
    April 7, 2011 12:36 p.m.

    In a culture that thrives and exists on setting itself apart, why does it tolerate selling the demon rum when there are so many good psychotropics around?
    Hint: Utah leads the nation in prescription drug abuse.
    What's that you say? The state profits from alcohol sales?
    What the ...?

  • xscribe Colorado Springs, CO
    April 7, 2011 12:11 p.m.

    @Menace: Would you please stop making so much sense? People don't like those who make sense. They just want you to believe what they believe!

  • byronbca Salt Lake City, UT
    April 7, 2011 12:08 p.m.

    In a state where free enterprise and capitalism are supposedly paramount why is the state running a monopoly on liquor stores? Do capitalism and free markets not apply to stores that sell liquor?

    The next question is why would the state shut down an enterprise that makes them money to save money? That is the very definition of counterintuitive.

    My friend who teaches logic would have a field day with this one.

  • wear2manyhatz Holladay, UT
    April 7, 2011 11:30 a.m.

    Typical. Let's close what is profitable and will create unemployment. Then let's not. That way, we can say, "See Utahans, we're listening!"

    Sure, spend money to do an efficiency test.

    Suupid, stuupid, stuupid.


  • Tami Herriman, UT
    April 7, 2011 11:01 a.m.

    More aggressive marketing, Ms Lockhart? By all means, let us be in the business of trying really hard to sell even more of this poison on society!

  • JohnJacobJingleHeimerSchmidt Beverly Hills, CA
    April 7, 2011 10:49 a.m.

    Government run Liquor Stores= Big Government

    Interesting to see Republicans implementing SHaria Law on the people of Utah.

  • MenaceToSociety Draper, UT
    April 7, 2011 10:28 a.m.

    Oh Please

    Think about all the money, all the lives, and all the heartache that would be saved if:
    Drivers did not operate motor vehicles while using cell phones,
    People did not become obese by consuming so much fast food, ice cream, soft drinks, and pizza,
    A certain President did not start two wars based on lies.

    I'll support getting rid of beer and cigarettes if we also get rid of fast food, ice cream, soft drinks, wars, and cell phone driving. Cell phone drivers are killing thousands every year by themselves and are catching up to drunk drivers quickly. And it's probably highly underreported.

  • Oh, please! Saint George, UT
    April 7, 2011 10:01 a.m.

    In a perfect world.....think about ALL the money and lives saved and all the heartache avoided if we did away with ALL liquor and tobacco. Just THINK about it. What we could do with the billions of dollars wasted on this stuff. THINK about it.

  • MenaceToSociety Draper, UT
    April 7, 2011 9:46 a.m.

    Hey gizmo

    While you're at it close all the ice cream stores fast food and pizza joints because they cause obesity heart attacks and other health issues that kill millions and increase health care expenses that raise my health insurance rates when I live a healthy lifestyle and therefore do not gorge myself on pizza fast food and ice cream why should I have to subsidize the health expenses of those living unhealthy lifestyles by eating so much ice cream pizza and fast food....

  • Ms Molli Bountiful, Utah
    April 7, 2011 9:40 a.m.

    I think the State should get out of the business and allow grocery stores, etc. to sell liquor. I'm not a drinker, but I don't think the State should be in the business here.

  • MenaceToSociety Draper, UT
    April 7, 2011 9:36 a.m.

    Closing profitable stores is not a budget cut. You don't have to come up with money to subsidize profitable stores.

    This is not about cutting the budget. This is about something else. Any guesses as to the true reason the legislature wants profitable liquor stores closed?

  • gizmo33 St. George, Utah
    April 7, 2011 9:24 a.m.

    in response to Blue Bolshevik-I always shop at Wal-Mart close all the liquor stores - cancer of society drunk drivers killing people 24/7 Ive never seen anybody get drunk and run somebody over at Wal-Mart liqour destroys families. and lives and its a burden on society .. and FYI Im not LDS - alcohol is not tolerated in my enviroment or at company picnics or dinners or family reunions if your going to close something down then close down the liquor stores drunk drivers kill people not Wal-Mart and while your at it shut down all the tobacco companys because their product kills people to not Wal- Mart and no I dont work at Wal-Mart

  • USAlover Salt Lake City, UT
    April 7, 2011 9:07 a.m.

    Absurd (AB-serd) adj. The act of allocating precious public funds to enable citizens to drug themselves. In the face of DUI manslaughter, domestic violence, serious liver, kidney and brain damage, and civic mayhem, elected leaders take money from education, public services and debt relief in order to provide liquor for those who want to engage in dangerous and unhealthy practices.

  • my 2 cents worth West Jordan, UT
    April 7, 2011 9:00 a.m.

    I don't drink.

    But I don't see how it makes any good business sense at all to close a government agency that MAKES money, especially when that money goes to fund one of the most beleaguered government agencies in the state: education.

  • Nussdorfer AC Salt Lake City, UT
    April 7, 2011 8:59 a.m.

    Just end the tight restrictions on only allowing liquor to be sold at state facilities. That way this isn't an issue at all.

  • Bearone Monroe, UT
    April 7, 2011 8:55 a.m.

    Here we go again---the politicians backtracking now that they feel the heat from the public on another one of their stupid moves!!

    They didn't listen to the testimony when they created the budget calling for the 2.2 million in cuts--now they cover their tracks hoping that the public will forget this fiasco and they can be reelected next time around.

    It is time that we get rid of all of them and put in some people with some common sense.

    Bottom line--you don't close a business that is making money just to save money!

  • DeltaFoxtrot West Valley, UT
    April 7, 2011 8:41 a.m.

    Simply amazing. Times such as these and our elected legislators are raising taxes and taking away jobs.

    Who voted for these people?

  • Roothogordie! Brigham, UT
    April 7, 2011 7:34 a.m.

    If the stores are actually making money, as they claim. They should not need any state money, but should be self sustaining. They should be able to run the entire operation on profits made from sales with all excess profits going to the schools. If they need state money to run the operation, that means I am supporting the proliferation of alcoholism and DUI's with my tax money. Close the government operation down and privatize it, that would solve the budget issue and set up a tax on alcohol sales to go to public education. That way alcoholics can support my 15 children in school with good habits and education and I don't have to support their bad habits with my tax dollars.

  • stevo123 slc, ut
    April 7, 2011 7:19 a.m.

    SME, They are ALL money making machines...profits galore. If you want to close one, close them all and let the free market decide.

  • SME Kearns, UT
    April 7, 2011 6:51 a.m.

    When a business needs to cut expenses they look at what they most afford to cut. When a government agency is forced to cut expenses they look for what will cause the most public outcry so that they can get their funding back.

  • Blue Bolshevik Salt Lake City, UT
    April 7, 2011 1:05 a.m.

    If they're so antsy about closing things, close WalMart, a cancer on small businesses and communities.

  • DN Subscriber Cottonwood Heights, UT
    April 6, 2011 10:12 p.m.

    Make sure the consultant is tasked to include consideration of the state getting out of the liquor business entirely. It is inefficient and costly to taxpayers and does no more to safeguard public health than if Wal-Mart sold liquor (like they do in many states!).

  • CHS 85 Sandy, UT
    April 6, 2011 9:30 p.m.

    Isn't it time for the conservatives to put their own mantra to the test on this issue?

    For those who don't know what I mean - put the free market to the test already and get out of the liquor business!