On Tuesday, Senator Chuck McIlhinney appeared on The Dom Giordano Program on 1210 WPHT in Philadelphia to discuss liquor privatization—giving taxpayers and consumers renewed hope that Pennsylvania may finally end its 80-year-old Prohibition-era system of government-run wine and spirits sales.
McIlhinney, the chairman of the committee in which the House-passed liquor privatization bill sits, told Giordano, "I fully intend to put forth a proposal to privatize the state stores." McIlhinney went on to say that he supports an even freer market in retail sales than the version passed by the state House. This is good news! And we support the Senator's stated intentions to bring real and full privatization to Pennsylvania.
Getting the government out of the booze business—and focused solely on the regulation of the industry—is critical for getting rid of the conflict of interest inherent in the Liquor Control Board’s current role as both the purveyor and regulator of alcohol.
In order to fully deliver what the taxpayers and consumers demand, we hope Sen. McIlhinney and his committee will improve upon the efforts of the House by fully divesting the state from the wholesale function and creating real competition in the retail sector. Getting the government completely out of the wholesale side will give retailers the ability to provide the consumer services and selections that private businesses provide in every other state where the government’s role is limited to regulation.
We look forward to Sen. McIlhinney's progress in bringing liquor liberty to Pennsylvania, and we at the Commonwealth Foundation stand willing, ready, and able to support the Senator in his liquor privatization efforts!