One of the last remaining vestiges of America’s failed experiment with the prohibition of alcohol of the 1930s is Alabama state government’s 170 Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) stores, which the state uses to compete with the private sector in the retail sale of liquor.
State Sen. Arthur Orr (R-Decatur) has tried on numerous occasions to end that arrangement with legislation that would privatize the ABC Board’s retail sales. Previously, Orr insisted the state could generate just as much income through privatization by eliminating the overhead. However, such efforts have not been successful.
During an appearance on this week’s “Capitol Journal” on Alabama Public Television, Orr told host Don Dailey he intends to give it another try in next year’s upcoming legislative session.
“I’m going to tilt at that windmill continually,” Orr said. “I think it is a thing we need to do. I chuckle, but it’s serious. I think the state has no business being in the retail sales of alcohol. If we were designing state government today, Don, would we think, ‘Well, let’s get into the retail sales of anything,’ for that matter of alcohol? But then, have the private sector down the street that we’re competing against. So, it’s been tried before. And I’m perhaps a little stubborn and am going to keep trying. I think we’re going to come with something different this time, and we’re going to see where we go.”
Orr did not divulge specifics of his 2020 effort, only saying it is “substantially different” from what has been tried in the past.