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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session


Posted: January 29, 2021 03:13 PM
From: Senator Patrick J. Stefano
To: All Senate members
Subject: Increasing where Spirits are Sold
In the near future, I plan to reintroduce legislation that will permit businesses holding a valid restaurant liquor license or hotel liquor license to apply for a “spirit expanded permit.”
Following the passage of Act 39 of 2016, businesses with valid restaurant or hotel liquor licenses were permitted to sell wine.  While this law represented a historic step forward for improved consumer convenience, spirits were excluded from the legislation. Allowing these businesses to sell spirits in addition to wine will increase consumer convenience for Pennsylvanians.
Wine and beer have both received expansions in recent years, with only spirits left behind.  Not only would this expansion bring parity to the marketplace, but it would also be fiscally beneficial.  The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board has testified that while our state stores lost some wine sales following the passage of Act 39, the additional sales made by restaurants and hotels more than made up for the decline.  Furthermore, national trends show more consumers are more interested in spirits than wine, which holds true in Pennsylvania according to the PLCB’s testimony in February of 2020, stating spirits sales had increased by 4% while wine only saw an increase of 1%. 
My legislation would be crafted similarly to the provisions of Act 39 that allowed for such growth to maximize Pennsylvania’s potential.  Further, the legislation will contain the same protections currently in place for these establishments selling wine, including a limit of 3 liters for a single transaction.  This license expansion would cost $2,000 for the initial fee and an annual renewal fee of 2% of the cost of spirits purchased from the Liquor Control Board.
This legislation was formerly Senate Bill 880 from the last session and was co-sponsored by Senators Yaw, Martin, DiSanto, Phillips-Hill, J. Ward, and Pittman.
I hope you will join me in increasing consumer convenience for Pennsylvanians by increasing where they can safely purchase spirits.