Distilleries ask McAuliffe to nix booze price hike

STATE-NEWSRICHMOND, Va. (AP) _ More than a dozen Virginia distilleries are asking Gov. Terry McAuliffe to nix a plan to raise prices at state-owned liquor stores. As part of a move to close a $2.4 billion budget gap, McAuliffe directed the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control to increase liquor prices. The agency has not yet decided how or when it will raise prices. In a letter sent Thursday to McAuliffe, the state’s distillers said producers already face an uphill battle and prices at the 350 state-run stores are already exorbitant because sales are controlled by the state. The move to increase prices comes as Virginia saw record alcohol sales of $801 million in the latest fiscal year. McAuliffe’s office says raising prices helps avoid further cuts to core services like education and public safety.

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