Feb. 26, 2015

HARRISBURG – Residents age 21 and older in Venango and Butler counties would finally be able to responsibly and conveniently purchase wine, liquor and beer under the same roof under a bill approved today by the state House with the support of Rep. Lee James (R-Venango/Butler).

“One of the major aspects of liquor privatization revolves around convenience,” James said. “The current system – where people have to go to one store for wine and liquor, another store for cases of beer and another place for six-packs of beer – is very inconvenient.”

The system that would be created if House Bill 466 is signed into law would create 1,200 licenses allowing private businesses to sell wine and spirits. Wine and spirits currently can only be purchased in state government-owned and -operated stores.

Beer distributors, which already have paid for a state license to sell their products, would have the first chance to purchase one of the new wine and liquor licenses. This would provide Pennsylvanians with the convenience of purchasing beer, wine and liquor all at the same location.

Grocery stores could receive a license to sell bottles of wine to their customers.

“We approved a bill that would move Pennsylvania out of the business of selling alcohol,” James said. “State government has many important functions that it must fulfill. Selling wine and liquor is not a core function of state government. We should follow the example of the 48 other states that have privatized alcohol sales.”

Once the number of private stores that sell alcohol reaches the level where there are as many private stores as state-operated stores, the state-run liquor stores would begin to shut down.

House Bill 466 now heads to the state Senate for consideration.

Residents can learn more about James by visiting his website at RepJames.com and following him on Facebook at Facebook.com/RepJames.

Representative Lee James
64th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Dan Massing
RepJames.com / Facebook.com/RepLeeJames