Early this morning, the Pennsylvania Senate passed an amendment written by Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi to the historic liquor privatization bill that passed the House three months ago. This was an important step toward giving the people of Pennsylvania what they have said repeatedly they want—moving our state into the 21st century when it comes to buying booze.
CF thanks the Senate for moving the process forward.
Of course, there is more yet to be done. The Senate has not passed the underlying bill, and the House will have to act again before anything can reach the governor’s desk. So the question is, what should they all do?
True liquor liberty means introducing real retail competition and not forcing private stores to buy wine and spirits from the government. Voters have said that they will consider a privatization plan that doesn’t address that second issue—wholesale divestiture—insufficient.
As it stands right now, the Senate amendment establishes criteria to shut down the state stores but does not completely get the state out of the wholesale business. CF encourages the General Assembly not to settle for anything less than the real choice and convenience consumers want by including stronger measures to truly privatize the wholesale operations.
Stay tuned! We’ll keep you apprised throughout the weekend on this and other budget developments.