Corbett-appointed panel looks at Pa. liquor sales

    The Pennsylvania commission reviewing state services that could be handled better by the private sector will now consider state liquor sales.

    That doesn’t mean, however, the liquor privatization proposal will move any faster this year.

    The bill to close the more than 600 state liquor stores and sell about 1,200 private liquor licenses has the support of the House Majority Leader Mike Turzai and Gov. Tom Corbett.

    But, even proponents say the proposal’s prospects for passing this year are dim.

    Matthew Brouillette, with the conservative Commonwealth Foundation, says he’s not optimistic it can pass both legislative chambers this month.

    “As we know, Marcellus Shale and education reform are probably going to consume all of the oxygen as well as redistricting for the remaining days,” he said.

    Panel member Jonathan Newman, a former chairman of the Liquor Control Board, says putting the liquor privatization before the commission doesn’t mean there’s a lack of confidence in the ability of lawmakers to pass it.

    “I believe that the governor’s team would like some input from the members simply to assist the legislature in the process of privatization respecting the leadership of Majority Leader Turzai,” Newman said.

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