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Liquor privatization debate continues today

By , - Last modified: March 21, 2013 at 11:50 AM

Debate was continuing today on landmark legislation to reform alcohol sales in Pennsylvania ahead of a possible final House vote but amid a series of amendments.

In a recently distributed summary from House Republicans, House Bill 790 would give beer distributors first crack at retail wine and liquor sales licenses to be issued by the state and would allow time for the businesses to pay for licenses.

After a period of time, remaining licenses could start going to others.

Wine sales licenses would become available to grocery stores to sell wine within stores, but beer sales by grocers would stay fairly status quo, according to the summary.

Only grocery locations with restaurant licenses — which some have today already — would be permitted to sell beer, the summary stated.

The bill also puts forth an involved formula for closing down state stores as the number of private sellers grows, but also contains language that the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board operate no fewer than 100 state stores, according to the summary.

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