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Thursday, February 26, 2015

Bill to Allow Private Sales of Wine and Liquor Clears House, Heads to Senate

HARRISBURG – The House today voted in favor of legislation sponsored by Speaker of the House Mike Turzai (R-Allegheny) aimed at reforming the way alcoholic beverages are sold in Pennsylvania. This fiscally responsible and consumer-driven wine and spirits privatization legislation would end the post-Prohibition state store system put in place by Pennsylvania’s then pro-temperance governor, Gifford Pinchot.

“The House of Representatives once again voted to end an antiquated, unnecessary and burdensome system,” Turzai said. “Pennsylvanians demand change and have been voting on this issue with their wallets by leaving their money in other states that can provide what they want at a fair price. The current system is not based on what is best for the consumer, but on protecting a myriad of special interests who have a stake in this monopolistic system.

“It is time to get government out of the alcohol business once and for all and move Pennsylvania into the 21st century.”

House Bill 466, in essence the same bill that passed the House last session, includes a series of reforms for beer, liquor and wine sales in Pennsylvania. The bill allows beer distributors to expand their businesses to sell liquor and wine, as well as beer. The bill also allows private wine wholesalers to sell products to Commonwealth customers. The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (PLCB) would still operate state stores until retail outlets are double the numbers of current state-operated outlets.

“Only a business can act like a business and be successful,” Turzai said. “Government has many responsibilities, such as providing an education, safe communities and clean air and water, but selling wine and liquor is not one of them. We need to get the state out of the business of buying and selling alcohol.”

The current monopoly system was created in 1933 by Pinchot, who said the PLCB’s mission was to make liquor sales “as inconvenient and expensive as possible.” Currently only two states, Pennsylvania and Utah, have complete control over wholesale and retail wine and liquor operations.

The legislation passed by a vote of 114-87 and now heads to the Senate for consideration.

16 comments :

Anonymous said...

This is a bad thing. The government should keep control of the stores and other things. It helps us who are on government assisted programs. Liquor prices will go sky-hi in the private sector.

Finneus Dildine said...

It is a proven fact that liquor is less expensive in the private sales realm. just go across the border to NY and buy a bottle of whiskey or wine or a case of beer. It's not just a little cheaper than the PA government dictated prices are...it's at least 15-20 percent less. Maybe you need to get your government assisted butts out of the house and look for a job....

Anonymous said...

I agree, when it comes to cigarettes, liquor, beer, housing, etc. it is better if the government keeps control to keep prices reasonable.
No individual shood have control over anything.

Anonymous said...

I like to think 6:52 was being sarcastic......maybe not.

Anonymous said...

I think Pa. Is the only state that. Has a state run system. ridiculous. why couldn't Corbett get this done in 4 years since it was supposed to be one on his top priorities?

Anonymous said...

Would much rather be able to go to sheetz or the supermarket for my six pack than have to go to a bar. That way I can get my nicotine, food and beer all at one place rather than having to stop at two. I agree with finneus regarding NY. As it is now a ton of people from PA go across the border to Olean or any place in NY and get beer, wine and whiskey way cheaper than in P.A. We might as well start having multiple wives also if we're going to be stuck in the stone age with Utah!

Anonymous said...

Think of all the tax money we are GIVING to NY, thus in turn causing our state taxes to GO UP. PA, get out of the liquor business.

Anonymous said...

PA is in the alcohol business? Next thing you know, they'll be in the tobacco and fetus killing business.

Jaughn Eggandflour said...

I can feel my "glaucoma" kicking in.

Anonymous said...

Some of you have VERY good points... But, and there is always a but ... The state is givin g up control of liquor sales for ONE reason ... MONEY ! They will sell thease liquor licenses for what people think is boo-koo bucks. WoW ! But , also what they're NOT telling you is that EVERY year the LCB contributes over $90 million dollars to the general fund ... So ... what happens when the initial "boo-koo" bucks is gone and spent ... That $90 million plus dollars each and every year has to come from somewhere ... Duh! ... Increased taxes to make up the difference ... You knowledgeable voters have got to start looking at the big picture ...

Anonymous said...

11:37 I was wondering why the gov't would give up control of something while it is gaining control of everything else, all aspects of our lives.

Anonymous said...

1137PM

Wouldn't selling off the control cut out costly, high cost pensions? Wouldn't it also bring back NY going alcohol buyers and bring back the sales tax revenue? Wouldn't it increase impulse buying by having it sold at quickie stores and food stores because of the fear of being seen in a State run Wine & Spirit store?

Anonymous said...

11:37 makes some good points. However, the state only controls 600 liquor stores right now, they will be issuing 1,200 liquor licenses IF this bill passes the Senate, Gov. Wolf has already said he will veto it anyway. The state plans on doubling the liquor licenses available, and we all know that businesses pay in taxes. I don't think we have to worry to much about it though, PA won't pass this bill and we will continue to go to NY to get cheaper beer and liquor...transporting liquor across state lines is technically illegal though....oh well.

Anonymous said...

Liquor WILL be cheaper if this bill passes, that's a no-brainer. They can make up for lost revenue by legalizing marijuana.

Anonymous said...

This is a good talking point but we all know it is a waste of time because it will be the veto pen with a liberal the gov's office. Liberals are for more government control not less!

Anonymous said...

Liberals are for less control. Which is why wolf is going to get this done. It's common sense people. Use your heads for once. How often do we go to olean to get cheaper beer and liquor? It's nice to have a choice rather than having to be at one distributer or one state store. You can get a 12 pack or six pack at reasonable prices at a lot more times of the day. There is absolutely no reason PA still has this archaic law. Plus I'm tired of breathing second hand smoke and smelling like cigarettes when I have to go into a bar to get a 12 pack. Not everyone likes to subject themselves to that.