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Midstate House lawmakers overwhelmingly backed historic liquor bill

By , - Last modified: March 22, 2013 at 12:08 PM

The vote in the state House on Thursday to pass landmark alcohol sales privatization and reform in Pennsylvania was a completely partisan vote in five midstate counties, according to the legislative record.

If the bill from state House Majority Leader Mike Turzai would become law in its present form, beer distributors would have the first chance to purchase licenses to sell wine and liquor and supplant the state-run store system.

The legislation also would bring about grocery store wine sales and initiate package reform for beer sales, according to a release from Turzai, R-Allegheny County.

The issue now goes to the state Senate. The version that passed the House was amended and departs from initial visions put forth by Gov. Tom Corbett and other lawmakers earlier this year.

State Rep. Patty Kim, D-Dauphin County, and state Rep. Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster County, peeled away with "no" votes among the two dozen total representatives serving municipalities in Cumberland, Dauphin, Lancaster, Lebanon and York counties.

The remainder of the lawmakers are Republicans.

Overall, no Democrats voted in favor of House Bill 790 and only a handful of Republicans dissented on final passage.

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