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Governor doesn’t support privatizing liquor sales

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Posted at 4:15 PM, May 14, 2015
and last updated 2015-05-14 18:26:45-04

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah Governor Gary Herbert is not in support of privatizing liquor sales.

Speaking at his monthly news conference on KUED, Governor Herbert was asked by FOX 13 about recent issues with the Utah Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control — including low wages and employee morale, as well as liquor sales.

“We take every complaint seriously,” the governor said, adding the state’s human resources departments have found nothing that would merit action. Herbert also defended the DABC’s controversial “centralized ordering system,” which pushes product that sells faster versus a more “personal touch” from store managers.

The governor was asked about privatizing liquor sales in the state. He noted that with hundreds of millions in profits, the state benefits from liquor sales.

“To privatize it, you would lose all that profitability and that may not be such a good thing. That’s a pretty big hole you’d have to fill,” Herbert said. “We clearly have an attitude in Utah of not promoting alcohol consumption, just like we don’t promote tobacco consumption for health reasons.”

The governor expressed concerns about promoting alcohol consumption, “which is maybe not desirable.”

“I think the system works good,” Herbert said. “I think the system is working pretty good. I don’t know that it’s broken and needs fixing.”