SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — New state liquor stores could be built faster and cheaper in Utah under a plan approved by a legislative panel.

The Salt Lake Tribune reports the House Business and Labor Committee unanimously approved a bill Wednesday that would create a $7.5 million land acquisition fund for the Utah Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control.

The bill's sponsor, Republican Rep. Gage Froerer of Huntsville, says it would save the state money over the next five to 10 years as land and construction costs rise.

Utah currently has 45 liquor stores. The retail outlet that opened in West Valley City last summer was the first new one built in seven years.

The department already plans to build new stores in Farmington and southwest Salt Lake County. It's also seeking money to fund outlets in market areas surrounding Pleasant Grove and Taylorsville.

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Information from: The Salt Lake Tribune, http://www.sltrib.com