Feb. 26, 2015

HARRISBURG – The House today passed legislation that would move Pennsylvania out of the liquor business by privatizing alcohol sales in the Commonwealth, Rep. Craig Staats (R-Bucks) said upon passage of House Bill 466 by a vote of 114-87.

“Getting government out of the liquor business is long overdue in Pennsylvania,” Staats said. “This plan would benefit consumers through better selection, more convenience and cheaper prices, and it would help small business owners by providing beer distributors with the first chance to purchase licenses to sell beer, wine and liquor. Most importantly, it would allow the state to concentrate on more appropriate functions, such as enforcing laws to prevent underage drinking and drunk driving.”

House Bill 466 would give consumers the choice and convenience that almost every statewide and local poll shows they desire by allowing beer, wine and liquor to be sold in one licensed location. It would also double the number of outlets where people can purchase wine and spirits and allow beer distributors to sell six-packs, 12-packs and growlers, rather than cases only.

The plan would create 1,200 wine and spirits licenses. Beer distributors would be given the first shot to purchase these licenses. After the first year, any unpurchased licenses would be offered to the public. The plan also would provide guidelines for wholesale divestiture and complete closing of the state store system.

Under House Bill 466, the government would retain tight regulatory control of alcohol distribution. The bill also would strengthen law enforcement, clamp down on underage drinking, and provides current state store employees with employment and educational opportunities.

Pennsylvania remains one of only two states in the nation (the other being Utah) with full government control over wine and liquor sales.  The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board controls promotion and sales of wine and spirits, as well as the regulation and enforcement of Pennsylvania liquor laws. Thirty states have never been involved in the sale of alcohol.

For more information, visit www.RepStaats.net.

Representative Craig Staats
145th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact:  Jonathan Anzur
www.RepStaats.net / Facebook.com/RepStaats