Pa. House passes Liquor privatization bill

By - Last modified: March 22, 2013 at 9:31 AM

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After just being voted out of committee earlier this week, the Pennsylvania House of Representatives passed House Bill 790 calling for the privatization of the state's liquor system with a vote of 105-90.

The privatization has been a major cause of Gov. Tom Corbett, who called the vote "historic."

"Never before has a liquor privatization bill passed through either chamber of the Legislature, and I am extremely proud of the hard work and commitment the House and [its] leadership have shown to the people of Pennsylvania."

The state Chamber of Business and Industry also came out in support of the passage.

"The Pennsylvania Chamber believes, as do many Pennsylvanians, that the sale of alcohol is not a core function of state government and would be better handled by the private sector," Pennsylvania Chamber President Gene Barr said. "A responsible private system as is contained in House Bill 790 would improve the buying experience for customers, continue to generate revenue for the commonwealth and allow the state to focus on its appropriate enforcement role."

The move is not without its detractors, however. Unions have spoken out against the House passage of the bill.

Pennsylvania AFL-CIO President Rick Bloomingdale said the bill eliminates thousands of good jobs, including the 5,000 good jobs of the men and women who work in Pennsylvania's Wine and Spirits System.

"This is one of the worst job-killing bills in my memory to be approved by the state House of Representatives, and I have been around here for more than 30 years," he said.

The bill now heads to the Senate for a vote.

Stacy Wescoe

Stacy Wescoe

Writer and online editor Stacy Wescoe has her finger on the pulse of the business community in the Greater Lehigh Valley and keeps you up-to-date with technology and trends, plus what coworkers and competitors are talking about around the water cooler — and on social media. She can be reached at stacyw@lvb.com or 610-807-9619, ext. 104. Follow her on Twitter at @morestacy and on Facebook. Circle Stacy Wescoe on .

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