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House Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

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House of Representatives
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session


Posted: December 14, 2021 10:08 AM
From: Representative Natalie Mihalek
To: All House members
Subject: Constitutional Amendment to Privatize Pennsylvania's State Run Liquor Store
In the near future, I will be introducing legislation calling for a constitutional amendment to privatize Pennsylvania's state run liquor system.  We are one of two states in the entire nation with a government monopoly on the sale of liquor and the only state in the nation to shut down the sale of spirits entirely during the COVID-19 pandemic.  Amongst many other flaws in various aspects of our government, the pandemic exposed our liquor system as outdated and the PLCB as inept.  It has been 88 years since the end of prohibition, and it is time for this Commonwealth to modernize the sale of liquor once and for all. 
In 2016, the General Assembly passed historic legislation to privatize the sale of wine and spirits. However, Governor Wolf vetoed this legislation. While the General Assembly has taken some gradual steps to modernize the sale of wine and spirits in the Commonwealth, consumers are still facing arbitrary and capricious rules and an outdated system that limits access to desirable products.  
This has not been due to a lack of effort on behalf of the House. In fact, in the 2017-18 session the House moved legislation to:
  • Allow beer distributors to sell wine and spirits,
  • Create agency stores to allow private retail outlets to sell wine and spirits, 
  • Privatize just the sale of wine in the Commonwealth, and
  • Create an enhanced spirit permit identical to the wine expanded permit.
Additionally, the House Liquor Control Committee passed legislation I sponsored that would have simply increased the amount of wine sold by wine expanded permit holders, a common sense measure aimed at something Pennsylvanians have been wanting for years: consumer convenience.  
Each one of these consumer-driven and convenience-focused pieces of legislation have been championed and carried solely by the majority party and fought at every step of the way by the minority party and their special interests.  
It has become clear to me that continuing to pass small steps in the right direction does not have the support, nor the will of both the Governor and his accomplices. The best way to move forward is by allowing our constituents to have the final say on Pennsylvania finally entering the 21st century by ending government control of liquor sales.

Thank you in advance for taking the time to consider co-sponsoring my legislation.

Introduced as HB2272