Legislative accord on Pa. liquor, wine sales remains elusive

    Legislation to overhaul the way alcohol is bought and sold in Pennsylvania is expected to advance this week, according to Republicans in the state Senate. Their Democratic colleagues, however, say consensus still seems a long way off.

    Democrats in the Senate are firmly against getting rid of the state’s apparatus for selling alcohol, which the House and governor support.They want to make the state wine and spirits stores more profitable.

    Minority Leader Jay Costa says it’s possible lawmakers will break for their traditional summer recess having completed a transportation funding bill, but not a liquor privatization plan of any kind.

    “I think at the end of the day, this administration is going to want to go home with a couple victories,” said Costa, D-Allegheny. “And the two paramount priorities that they’ve expressed are wine and spirit privatization is their highest priority and then the secondary priority has been transportation.

    “So if they want those things done, I think there’s going to have to be a lot of conversation among the principals here in Harrisburg,” he said Monday.

    The proposal anticipated this week from Senate Republicans will be a response to the House’s legislation to phase out state wine and spirits stores.

    No legislative language has been made public yet, and there’s a tight lid on its details as leaders wrangle support.

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