Yes, we’ve heard a million times before that the Pennsylvania Legislature is mulling a liquor privatization bill. A million times before, it’s gone nowhere. So why highlight the latest bill from Sen. Scott Wagner, a York County Republican?
Answer: Precisely because it’s originating in the Senate, where previous House attempts at privatization have long gone to die.
“Wagner worked on details of a bill to get the state out of the liquor business, and he has the support of the Senate’s highest-ranking Republican, President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati of Jefferson County,” Triblive reports. “Like the House bill, Wagner’s legislation would eliminate the state’s wholesale control of liquor and wine. State stores would close under a schedule the House proposed and would be shut down when fewer than 100 stores remain, said Wagner’s aide, Jason High. Pennsylvania has more than 600 state stores.”
TribLive’s reporter added: “The liquor privatization bill repeatedly has hit roadblocks in the Senate.”
Gov. Tom Wolf reportedly favors making the state liquor store system more convenient, but doesn’t support privatizing them. The status of those stores, however, are part of negotiations for the final budget.