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Senate Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: January 18, 2017 11:41 AM
From: Senator James R. Brewster
To: All Senate members
Subject: Distributor Sales
In the near future, I will introduce legislation to amend the Liquor Code (Act 21 of 1951) to rectify a problem created by the recent passage of Act 166 of 2016.

Since the passage of Act 166 we’ve heard from many beer distributors in our districts that believe we undermined their ongoing business to liquor licensees (restaurants and taverns) by prohibiting them from selling beer outside of the franchise territory of the import distributor that the beer came from.

There are good reasons to protect the franchise territories of import distributors, including protecting the three tier system for distributing beer and to protect the contacts between brewers and import distributors. However, the change in Act 166 went too far and needs to be adjusted without total repeal.

In order to address the concerns raised about Act 166 and still protect our existing beer distribution system I’m proposing the following three scenarios to allow beer sales by distributors to liquor licensees:

1.When the liquor license is within the territory of the import distributor;
2.When the liquor license is within the county of import distributor; and
3. When the liquor license is within 40 miles of the distributor and within a contiguous county.

Act 166 also imposed a 30-day suspension for a distributor that violated the new section. This is not in keeping with other penalties imposed by the Liquor Code that usually require a fine before a suspension is imposed. My bill proposes that distributors will be penalized in a similar way to other violations of the liquor code if the violate the limitations on the geographic area where beer can be sold.

Please join me in co-sponsoring and supporting this important legislation.

Introduced as SB609