A Watered-Down Booze Bill Could Hit Corbett’s Desk Within Weeks

The Pa. House majority whip, a prominent privatization advocate, appears to have chilled out.

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:

“Before we get too far through May, I think we’ll pass something through to the governor’s desk for liquor,” said House Majority Whip Stan Saylor, R-Red Lion.

That something, Saylor said, will most likely be a version of the so-called “wine only” plan Senate leaders are discussing.

To get to Gov. Tom Corbett’s desk, privatization advocates — including Saylor — in the House would have to back away from the bill they passed last year to phase out the state stores and embrace a proposal that deals with the already privatized beer market.

It could happen, Saylor said, adding that he wants to get onto other issues, like pension reform.

“We want the whole thing, but you take what you can get,” Saylor said. “It’s a step, and if we need to come back next session and take another step, that’s what we do.”

Any plan the Republicans agree on would still face stiff opposition from Senate and House Democrats, the State Store employees union, and a coalition of retailers and distributors that put forth its own plan a couple of weeks ago.