Liquor Store Privatization

Principles for Liquor Privatization

Key Points:

  • Government should permanently get out of the business of selling alcohol and end the system in which state-run liquor stores compete against private business.
  • Modernization fails to move Pennsylvania into the 21st century.
  • Only full privatization ends the conflict of interest inherent in having the PLCB both regulate and promote wine and liquor sales with tax dollars.
  • Pennsylvania is not safer or more sober because of government-sold alcohol.

State Budget Solution #2: Liquor Privatization

As Governor Wolf and legislative leaders seek to redesign state government, ending Prohibition-era liquor laws should be without argument. Solution #2: Liquor Privatization

Wolf’s Wine Signature a First Step Toward Privatization

Gov. Wolf’s anticipated signature today on HB 1690, which allows wine sales in select grocery stores, is a first step toward much-needed liquor privatization, but more must be done.

Wine Expansion Improves Convenience But Falls Short of Privatization

Today, the state House passed legislation allowing select grocery stores (those with a restaurant license) to sell wine in Pennsylvania. The bill, which now heads to Gov. Wolf’s desk, is a step in the right direction but leaves undone critical elements of true privatization.

Backdoor $600 Million Tax Increase in Rumored Deal

The latest state budget rumors describe a deal to increase the sales tax to provide corresponding property tax relief. Rather than a “dollar-for-dollar” tax shift, this plan would actually increase taxes on all Pennsylvanians by $600 million.

Analysis of Governor Wolf's Budget Compromise

On September 16, 28 days after receiving a budget compromise proposal from legislative Republicans, Gov. Wolf rejected that offer and issued his own plan—to hire a private contractor to manage the government liquor system and slightly modifying his earlier pension proposal. While Wolf’s proposals are significant, they represent bad public policy.

Government that Works?

Last week, Governor Wolf revved up his Jeep and resumed his “Government that Works” tour in Lancaster. In an ironic twist, Wolf also promised to veto a temporary funding bill that would actually put government back to work, extending a nearly three-month budget stalemate created by his June 30 veto.

Gov. Wolf Offers Status Quo Packaged as ‘Reform’

Governor Tom Wolf announced what he termed “historic” liquor and pension reform proposals. Unfortunately, his plans to lease the state’s liquor system while maintaining government ownership and to offer a stacked hybrid pension plan for state employees fail to meet the threshold of true reform.

PLCB Once Again Drunk on Scandal

As the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board's (PLCB) former marketing director faces federal charges, this latest scandal shows why it's time to get government out of the booze business. 

A Double Shot of Liquid Courage

It shouldn’t take a double shot of liquid courage to finally end Prohibition in Pennsylvania. With pension deficits, revenue shortfalls, PLCB ethics violations, and consistent popular support, this should be a political no-brainer—no matter how much you’ve had to drink. 

Wolf's 'My Way or the Highway' Approach Blocks Progress

In his 2015 budget address, Gov. Tom Wolf urged dissenters, “If you don’t agree with my ideas, here is my request: please come with your own ideas. It's not good enough to just say no and continue with the same old same old.” Talk is one thing—action is another.

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