Direct wine shipments in Pa. may be a taste of privatization

    The state Senate has approved a bill to allow Pennsylvanians to have wine shipped to their doorstep.

    But when it comes to modernizing the state’s liquor system, House lawmakers don’t want just a taste — they want the whole case.

    The bill itself is a clinic in compromise.

    Originally, it would have allowed Pennsylvanians to get wine deliveries from vineyards abroad, said bill co-sponsor Sen. Larry Farnese, D-Philadelphia.

    “We were told that that language would be dead on arrival in the House. That would not pass,” he said.

    So the bill was amended to allow only domestic mail-order wines.

    But it might not pass anyway — at least, not without a larger proposal tied to it that would unload some-600 state-run liquor stores.

    Steve Miskin, House Republican spokesman, says direct wine shipment isn’t needed so much as complete liquor privatization.

    “It’s time to modernize. You can’t modernize in piecemeal fashion. It just needs an entire overhaul,” MIskin said. “And so direct wine shipments is actually part of what will be a privatization legislation.

    Miskin says the House GOP is working with the governor’s office on a package deal, with hopes to move on a proposal in the next few months.

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