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House Committee Votes on two Liquor Bills; Contact Your State Rep. Today!
Updated On: Apr 06, 2017
HARRISBURG – (4/06/2017) On Monday, April 4, 2017, the Pennsylvania House Liquor Control Committee voted on two liquor privatization bills: House Bill 438 and House Bill 991. Despite short notice, Local 1776 members filled the meeting room where the vote took place, and policymakers throughout the Capitol complimented Local members for their activism. Although both HB 438 and HB 991 passed by a thin margin in committee, Local 1776’s strong presence in the Capitol this week caused House Speaker Mike Turzai to push back a vote in front of the full House of Representatives until later in April.
Now is the time to keep up the pressure on your state lawmakers! The House plans to vote on liquor privatization when they return on Monday, April 18, 2017.
House Bill 438 would expand the sale of distilled spirits into the same retail licenses, including grocery stores, which were permitted to acquire wine through last year’s liquor privatization bill (Act 39).
House Bill 991 creates private liquor stores by licensing over 2,000 private wine and spirits outlets and allows the licensees to acquire product at a lower price than the Wine and Spirits stores.
Both bills will cause reductions in sales and revenue generated by the Wine and Spirits stores. This will lead to job loss and to the closure of Wine and Spirits stores.
See what some Representatives said during Monday’s committee meeting – effectively supporting PA Wine and Spirits jobs:
“Rep. Scott Petri, R-Bucks, the lone Republican to vote against [HB 438], said consumer prices could increase because private industry would not have to abide by the same pricing rules as LCB stores. He also said the proposed permitting fee is too low...” – The Morning Call, Bills would expand Pennsylvania liquor sales, 4/3/17
Rep. Kevin Boyle (D-Philadelphia): “This bill will continue the unraveling of a hugely profitable liquor system for the state of Pennsylvania.”
Rep. Morgan Cephas (D-Philadelphia): “We’re not having that conversation [public health and safety] as we’re going down this line of expansion, and that concerns me.”
William Kortz (D-Allegheny County): “That’s a lot of booze, folks, out in the area and I don’t know that a lot of groups would be in favor of that.”
J.J. Abbott, Governor Tom Wolf’s press secretary: “[Gov. Wolf] does not support these bills. He is currently focused on allowing the consumer-centric reforms enacted last year to be fully implemented and ensuring the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board is working to maximize returns and consumer convenience.”
To view the vote count on House Bill 438, click here. For House Bill 991, click here.