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By The Associated Press

MONTGOMERY, Ala. – One Alabama senator says it’s time for the state to get out of the retail liquor business.

State Senate budget committee Chairman Arthur Orr is working on a bill for the legislative session beginning Feb. 5 that would do just that.

Orr says closing state-run liquor stores and eliminating the 600 employees could save $46 million annually. He wants to use private liquor stores for all retail operations.

The administrator of the Alabama Alcoholic Beverage Control Board, Mac Gipson, says the current system is efficient. He predicts that switching to only private retailers will lead to higher prices for consumers, which is what happened last year when Washington closed its state-run liquor stores.

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