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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: April 13, 2020 12:55 PM
From: Representative Jason Ortitay
To: All House members
Subject: COVID-19 State Store Solution
On March 17, Fine Wine and Good Spirits stores across the Commonwealth were not only shut down, they were also boarded up. Due to vocal dissatisfaction regarding no access to spirits in Pennsylvania, on April 1, Governor Wolf announced the reopening of the PLCB’s eCommerce platform, which would provide access to spirits for our constituents and PA consumers.
Due to the fact our consumers had been without access to spirits for weeks, the website was flooded by a rush of consumers to purchase and ship directly to their homes.
Not only is the PLCB purposefully limiting access to consumers, as the platform cannot handle thousands of consumers accessing it at once, but the warehouse sending the spirits to consumers cannot handle the processing. Plus, Pennsylvanians are traveling to other states to purchase wine and spirits causing the state to lose out on millions of dollars in revenue every day.
During last year’s appropriation hearing the Board highlighted a $4 million upgrade to the eCommerce sales system as well as expanding the fulfillment center from 4,500 square feet to 30,000 square feet, which was to be completed by October 2019.  It would seem to me such upgrades should enable the PLCB to keep up with consumer demands.  The Chairman of the Board, however, was recently quoted as saying, “We will not be able to meet demands.” 
I will be introducing legislation which will require the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board to utilize a third party to not only run its failing online platform, but also oversee the warehousing and distribution of spirits. In a time where you can get virtually anything to delivered to your house with third party providers like DoorDash, Grubhub, and Uber Eats, it’s time for the LCB to utilize technology and innovation to provide a better service for the people of Pennsylvania. I hope you will join me in sponsoring this necessary legislation for the benefit of Pennsylvania’s consumers.

Introduced as HB2526