PA House Of Representatives Votes To Privatize Liquor Sales

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Here are the specifics on how HB 790 is designed to change the way alcohol is sold inPennsylvania:

It would create 1,200 wine and spirit licenses, giving beer distributors the right of first refusal for the first 12 months, after which any remaining licenses would be made available to the public. After the 600 state stores close, an additional 600 licenses could be made available.

Beer distributors could opt to add sales of wine or spirits, or both, making them the only outlets with the ability to sell all three and they would have 48 months to pay for the licenses. Separate fees would  be charged for wine and liquor licenses. Additionally, package reform would be accomplished through a permit process allowing distributors to sell growlers and six- and 12-packs.

Supermarkets would be permitted to purchase licenses to sell wine Monday through Saturday but would have to purchase an additional permit to sell on Sunday. And, supermarkets would continue to be permitted to purchase restaurant licenses to sell beer.

Restaurant licenses would allow sales of six bottles of wine to go.

The PLCB stores would gradually close, dependent on the number of wine and spirit licenses and supermarket licenses sold. The state would operate no fewer than 100 stores at any time.

Wholesale divestiture would happen 12 months after the enactment of the legislation.

Displaced employees would be granted three additional points on the civil service and exam and would receive a $1,000 per year grant to go back to school part-time or $2,000 for full-time. Additionally, $2,000 per year and two years tax credit would be given to private employers hiring displaced workers.

The PLCB would continue to oversee licensing and regulation of alcohol sales.

Lastly, taxes, including the six percent sales tax and 18 percent Johnstown Flood Tax, would still be levied on sales of wine and spirits.