House GOP Leader Vows Liquor Vote Early April


The governor’s liquor privatization plan is being introduced as legislation Tuesday, and the House Republican leader says he thinks he can shepherd the bill through his chamber by late March or early April.

House Majority Leader Mike Turzai is the prime sponsor of a bill based completely on Gov. Corbett’s plan to sell off the more than 600 state wine and spirit stores and allow supermarkets, big box stores, and convenience stores to sell wine and beer.

But Turzai has no delusions the proposal will emerge from negotiations unscathed. Already, he’s softening his rhetoric about the bold plan to get rid of the state stores, saying he thinks a “win” would be a plan that moves “toward” the private sale of wine and spirits.

“Once the private sector gets the opportunity to sell wine and spirits, the state stores are — you know, over time, they’re just not going to be able to compete,” said Turzai to reporters Tuesday.

Rep. John Taylor (R-Philadelphia), chairman of the state House Liquor Control Committee, has floated a draft amendment to Turzai’s bill that would, among other things, keep the state stores open and sell fewer liquor licenses than the governor has proposed.

The Commonwealth Foundation, a conservative group that supports the governor’s plan to sell off the state stores, is criticizing the not-yet-proposed amendment, saying such changes wouldn’t offer real privatization.

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