Pa. House suspends debate on liquor privatization

    Pennsylvania’s House of Representatives spent three hours last night debating a proposal to end state control over liquor and wine sales and sell the business to private operators.

    Lawmakers went home without taking a vote.

    Supporters said Majority Leader Mike Turzai’s proposal would provide the convenience and lower prices consumers want. But opponents warned that privatization would throw thousands of state-store employees out of work while doing little to placate constituents who find better deals in other states.

    Shortly after 10 p.m., House Speaker Sam Smith suspended the debate until at least today.

    In addition to Turzai’s proposal, more than 250 other amendments are pending on the politically thorny issue. Officials say it’s the first time ever that the privatization has been debated the floor of the Legislature.

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