Pennsylvania’s House Majority Leader Mike Turzai promises that he’s reintroducing a bill next week to abolish the PLCB and sell off the state’s 600-plus liquor stores to the private sector. In addition to killing off the agency, which has had a stranglehold on booze in the Commonwealth since Prohibition’s repeal, and displacing as many as 3,500 liquor store employees, Turzai’s bill calls for auctioning off liquor licenses for large and small privately owned liquor stores and imposing a new “gallonage” tax on wine and spirit sales. Though Governor Tom Corbett has expressed interest in getting the state out of the booze business, the timing of Turzai’s reintroduction of the bill comes off as just a bunch of chest puffing.
As both Representative Dwight Evans and Wendell W. Young 4th, president of Local 1776 of the United Food and Commercial Workers, the union that represents liquor store employees, have pointed out in recent weeks, the bill doesn’t stand a chance. At least not this year. It will be introduced while State Legislators are on vacation, and when they reconvene in the fall, they will have their hands full with more pressing matters, namely Congressional redistricting, issues related to Marcellus Shale and transportation funding. The booze issue will most likely be pushed to wayside.
Turzai to Re-introduce Liquor Store Privatization Bill [PoliticsPA]
Liquor Store Privatization To Take Center Stage This Week [CBS Philly]
Bill to abolish Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board may arrive next week, but lawmakers won’t be around to see it [Philly.com]