The House Liquor Control Committee is scheduled to hold a hearing Monday to consider Gov. Corbett’s privatization plan, which calls for auctioning off the state’s 600-plus wine and spirits shops to the private sector. Proceeds from the sale – estimated at about $1 billion – would be given to public schools through an initiative to help them pay for early-childhood education and school security, among other things.
If it passes muster in committee, the bill would then be sent to the House floor for debate. Majority Leader Mike Turzai (R., Allegheny), privatization’s most vocal supporter in the legislature, has vowed to bring the measure to a full floor vote by the end of the month. That would be the farthest a liquor-privatization bill has moved through the legislature.
After years of talk, is this thing really going to happen? Probably not, but it’s fun to watch politicians get closer to making a big change.
[UPDATE: 3 pm March 18] The Delco Daily Times reports: “After more than two hours of debate Monday, the Pennsylvania House Committee on Liquor Control approved an amended version of Gov. Tom Corbett’s bill that would privatize the Liquor Control Board system. This bill will now go to the House floor for first consideration. The amendment was introduced by state Rep. Mark Mustio, R-44, of Allegheny County. The latest version of the bill calls for a more gradual version of privatizing the system than Corbett’s plan. “When we get to the point of 100 stores then the entire system will be shut down,” said state Rep. John Taylor, R-177, of Philadelphia County,majority chairman of the committee.”