Republican leaders in the Pennsylvania House have pledged to try again for privatizing liquor stores in the fall.
But that’s not stopping one GOP lawmaker from attempting to squeeze a little wine license reform out of the state’s Liquor Control Board.
The pitch from state Rep. Dan Moul, R-Adams, is simple — make it easier to buy wine in restaurants.
Mal wants to offer wine-only licenses at lower cost than restaurants would be able to pay for full liquor licenses.
A lot of people would like to have a glass of wine with their meal, he says.
“But restaurants, small restaurants in particular, to buy a full-fledged liquor license — that’s what you need to buy just to offer a glass of wine with a meal — they’re upwards of a hundred thousand dollars,” Moul said.
And, he says, don’t cap them the way full liquor licenses are capped now.
“I don’t want any limitation on the number of licenses,” Moul said. “I think that’s a horrible law to have in effect, or a horrible regulation, because what that does is, it now puts these things in a bidding war.”
This is the second time around for Moul’s proposal, and he’s fully expecting more negotiations ahead.
He says tavern and restaurant owners are concerned a proliferation of wine-only licenses will devalue their own full liquor licenses, and introduce more competition for customers.