House approves bill to sell state’s liquor wholesale system
House Republicans on Tuesday pushed ahead a set of changes to how alcohol is sold in the state, moving to privatize wholesale wine and spirits sales and expand the retail outlets where booze is available.
Lawmakers voted 105-84 in favor of the wholesale divestment proposal, sending it with other proposals to the Senate for its consideration.
The House voted to allow more grocery stores to seek permits to sell wine, no longer restricting the permits to stores with seating capacity, and retailers would be able to buy wine from brokers in the private sector.
“Every day that passes that we’re not able to continue to update our antiquated liquor systems is another day of missed opportunities,” said Rep. Bryan Cutler, R-Lancaster.
Rep. Joe Markosek, a Democrat from Allegheny County, said the change would help businesses at the expense of taxpayers, as state stores would have to compete with groceries that can focus on just the most popular varieties.