It’s the Reefer Madness of booze privatization in Pennsylvania!
Looks like no RIP for the PLCB this year. PennLive reports that House majority whip Stan Saylor, formerly a staunch supporter of the full privatization of Pennsylvania liquor sales, has expressed a new willingness to compromise with his Republican colleagues in the Senate and move forward with a plan to bring wine and beer sales only to grocery and convenience stores:
The Patriot-News reports: “One of the biggest talking points in the debate over the future of Pennsylvania’s state store system is “border bleed” — the number of Pennsylvanians who drive across state lines to buy booze. But it seems neighboring states are also losing customers to Pennsylvania.”
WITF reports: “Governor Corbett says he’s still working on a plan to change the state’s system of liquor stores, but isn’t giving any new information about what might eventually be enacted. Corbett addressed the topic at a news conference in Harrisburg today. He says a lot of discussion is going on regarding the liquor stores that the public doesn’t know about.” Corbett additionally said he was recovering well from recent hernia surgery.
Let’s grant this: What Arthur Goldman (allegedly) did was dumb. It was, if proven, certainly illegal. And if convicted, he’ll likely pay a steep price for his sins.
But was it wrong?
Goldman, you’ll remember, is the Chester County attorney who this week found himself in the headlines after being accused of wine smuggling by that county’s district attorney. Apparently, Goldman bought lots of rare wine through unapproved channels — that is, without including state-owned liquor stores in the transaction, and then sold lots of rare wine through unapproved channels … that is, without including state-owned liquor stores in the transaction. Now he’s in big trouble.
The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports privatizing the state’s liquor stores may be on the agenda in 2014, thanks to a $1.4 billion budget deficit. “There are plenty of other options, legalizing more gambling such as keno and pension reform among them. Full Medicaid expansion is another possibility. But selling the state stores long has been a popular notion with most Pennsylvanians (though, in fairness to the opposition, it’s not a burning issue). That said, the dynamics of state store privatization could change shortly.”