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CPBJ Extra Blog

State alcohol reform measure quickly passes state Senate. April Fool's!

By - Last modified: April 1, 2013 at 9:43 AM
Brent Burkey
Brent Burkey

It felt like the Corbett/Turzai alcohol privatization bill flew through the state House last month like a flash. But until I checked the dates, I didn't realize just how quickly it went.

About a week and a half by my measure. That's it. It hit the House Liquor Control Committee on March 11 and final passage came March 21.

But I don't know if that'll be the case in the Senate. In fact, I highly doubt it. Just charting out and confirming what exactly hit the cutting-room floor from the original plan and what abruptly took its place could take longer than a week and a half.

And that's not even mentioning that some key opposition quickly cropped up from the lesser-populated bowel of government now standing between the governor and political victory.

An initial Republican in a leadership position that House Bill 790 will have to get through is state Sen. Chuck McIlhinney, who heads the Law and Justice Committee.

And the Eastern Pennsylvania lawmaker was quoted as saying he would have opposed the measure had he been able to vote on it in the House.

Notice I said he was a Republican. Same party as the governor. I can only imagine what Senate Democrats will do with this bill on its way to whatever eventual end becomes it.

(It's important to note that no Democrat in the House supported this measure.)

Now, I shouldn't be all negative. Truth be told, congrats are in order to the governor and his cohorts in the House. National kudos are being offered for Corbett at a time when his political future sorely needs them.

However, that was last month. This is April now. The fervor to at least pass something and make history has worn down, but absolutely nothing is law yet. It's only half time, and there's a lot of game yet to play.

Brent Burkey covers retail, tourism, and Lebanon and York counties. Have a tip or question for him? Email him at You can also follow him on Twitter, @brentburkey.

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