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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: April 13, 2020 02:05 PM
From: Representative Timothy J. O'Neal
To: All House members
Subject: Privatize the Sale of Wine and Spirits
In the near future, I will be introducing legislation to privatize the sale of wine and spirits in the Commonwealth. 
Act 39 of 2016 made significant steps toward modernizing our liquor system throughout the Commonwealth.  At the bill signing ceremony, Gov. Tom Wolf stated, “This bill will improve the customer experience.  It will make pricing more competitive.  It will make the purchase of these products more convenient.  It will produce more revenue for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.”
Of course, given the dire situation caused by COVID-19, we now know that those steps have not been enough, and the governor’s statements have failed to come to fruition.  I believe the time is right for the General Assembly to once again examine the case for full privatization. As we have seen throughout this crisis, our constituents have nowhere to conveniently purchase spirits in the Commonwealth. Furthermore, the website used by the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board for constituents to purchase liquor is completely ineffective. Our constituents deserve, and demand, better.
My legislation will closely resemble House Bill 466 of 2015. Some of you may recall that this legislation passed both the House and Senate, but was unfortunately vetoed by Gov. Wolf. The legislation will close down our state-owned stores, privatize our wholesale liquor system and create private outlets for liquor. 
This legislation will truly move our Commonwealth’s liquor system into the 21st Century, while providing greater convenience for our residents to purchasing liquor.
In his remarks that day, Gov. Wolf also said, “Today, we are changing a system that many people in Pennsylvania have wanted to change for a long time.” This statement was indeed true in 2016, and now the citizens of Pennsylvania demand that we take the next obvious step – full privatization.
Thank you in advance for consideration of my legislation. 

Introduced as HB2547