Pennsylvania House Republicans are taking another run at liquor privatization, and they’re picking up where they left off two years ago.
The House GOP plans to vote on a plan to phase out state wine and spirit stores and expand the sale of alcohol in big-box stores, supermarkets, and beer distributors. If that sounds familiar, it’s because the same proposal passed the House in 2013, only to die in the Senate.
House Majority Leader Dave Reed said passing it again will set up a negotiation with senators and the Wolf administration, though he doesn’t expect support for the bill from those quarters.
“I expect that we begin the negotiation process where we left off last session, and then it’ll be up to the Senate and the governor to put something on the table that they can support,” said Reed. “We thought this was a good opportunity to put a potential revenue source.”
House Republicans say the measure could yield $1 billion in up-front revenue for the state.
Democrats, including Gov. Tom Wolf, remain opposed. Wolf has said he supports changes that make the existing state liquor system more profitable.