Legislation to end Pennsylvania’s 82-year monopoly on liquor sales is due for a vote Thursday in the state House.
The plan would dramatically change the way alcohol is sold in Pennsylvania.
House Bill 466, sponsored by Speaker of the House Mike Turzai, is similar to a proposal that cleared the House in 2013. It would close the 600-plus state stores and replace them with 1,200 private licenses.
“In a year when we are faced with a potential $2 billion budget deficit, I personally think it is important to consider avenues for revenue other than taxes,” Turzai said in a memo to colleagues seeking support.
It was estimated last session that the proposal would generate about $1 billion up front, with continued revenue from existing liquor and sale taxes.
HARRISBURG – The confetti has been swept up and the empty champagne bottles cleared away.
The hubbub of news releases, tweets and Facebook postings trumpeting the pros and cons of Pennsylvania’s latest liquor privatization bill has culminated in its passage by the House.
In a nearly straight party-line vote last week, the Republican majority handed Gov. Tom Corbett a victory that he and his allies fought hard for, even though the bill differs radically from his original plan to auction off the 600 state liquor stores.
The compromise plan is designed to phase out the state-run stores county by county, as private operators – beer distributors only for the first year – and others buy at least 1,200 liquor and wine licenses. It also would allow grocery stores to sell wine.