Could Pa. liquor privatization reignite this year?

     Customers check out the selection at a state wine and liquor store in New Hope. Pa. State lawmakers are once again considering changes to the system that would expand wine and beer sales to more private stores and give greater flexibility to the state stores.(AP file photo/Matt Rourke)

    Customers check out the selection at a state wine and liquor store in New Hope. Pa. State lawmakers are once again considering changes to the system that would expand wine and beer sales to more private stores and give greater flexibility to the state stores.(AP file photo/Matt Rourke)

    The past week saw state Capitol developments in the public debate over how to reduce the cost of Pennsylvania public employee pensions and fund transportation infrastructure.

    They’re both issues that could easily have been abandoned after a full-court press by Republican Gov. Tom Corbett this summer failed to win the Legislature’s approval.

    Conspicuously missing have been signs of movement regarding a third agenda item of Corbett’s that also stalled in the Legislature: privatizing the sales of wine and hard liquor in a state known for its Prohibition-era restrictions.

    It’s hardly dead, however. And with Republican majorities in both chambers and support among some of the state’s most powerful politicians, liquor privatization could easily re-emerge in the year left before the current legislative session expires.

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