Home » Pennsylvania Governor Rejects Privatized Liquor Sales Bill

Pennsylvania Governor Rejects Privatized Liquor Sales Bill

Last updated on June 13th, 2024 at 05:22 pm

Pennsylvania Governor  Tom Wolf has rejected a legislative bill that would have allowed for the sale of state-owned liquor stores and privatized the state’s liquor system. Wolf says the bill falls short of “a responsible means to reform our state liquor system and maximize revenues to benefit our citizens.”

“It makes bad business sense for the Commonwealth and consumers to sell off an asset, especially before maximizing its value,” Wolf said. “During consideration of this bill, it became abundantly clear that this plan would result in higher prices for consumers. In the most recent case of another state that pursued the outright privatization of liquor sales, consumers saw higher prices and less selection.”

Wolf says he supports modernization of the state liquor system, providing additional revenues for the state and saving jobs. He remains open to expanding the availability of wine and beer in more locations, including supermarkets. He also suggests other compromises, including variable pricing, direct shipment of wine and expanding store hours.

For the first time in its history, the Pennsylvania General Assembly had approved legislation to privatize the state liquor system.

Under the bill, state liquor stores would have been phased out and the state-run beer wholesale system would have been leased to private interests. The liquor privatization plan would have allowed about 14,000 beer-sales license holders—retailers, restaurants, grocery stores and others—to pay a fee for permission to also sell wine, liquor or both. It also provided a pathway to the closure of the approximately 600 state-controlled wine and liquor stores and allowed for direct shipment of wine from other states.

The bill would have allowed grocery stores with restaurants to buy licenses to sell limited amounts of wine and liquor for carryout, along with beer they currently sell. It also would have allowed consumers to purchase up to five bottles of wine and two bottles of liquor at some grocery stores and convenience stores with eating areas.

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Shelby Team

The Shelby Report delivers complete grocery news and supermarket insights nationwide through the distribution of five monthly regional print and digital editions. Serving the retail food trade since 1967, The Shelby Report is “Region Wise. Nationwide.”

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  • What is the Republican governor afraid of? Isn’t the free market good enough for the state of Pennsylvania? Since when is opening a monopoly to competition a bad thing?

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