Late last week the Pennsylvania House of Representatives approved HB 790, landmark legislation that would privatize the liquor distribution industry in Pennsylvania, by a vote of 105-90. Nearly every Republican voted in favor, while Democrats stood unanimously opposed to the bill, which would get Pennsylvania state government out of the business of selling liquor. This long-overdue legislation would end the decades old government monopoly on the wholesale distribution of liquor and operation of liquor stores across the Keystone State.
HB 790, which has the support of Gov. Tom Corbett now heads to the Senate, where a tough slog for the bill is expected. After one year of this bill becoming law, the Pennsylvania government would be required to divest itself from the wholesale liquor business and private individuals and small business owners across Pennsylvania would finally have the opportunity to purchase liquor licenses, 1,000 of which will be available in the first year, and launch private liquor distribution stores.
As of last fiscal year, the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board had ten million dollars more in liabilities than assets. HB 790 would end this unnecessary and indefensible drain on state resources.
Americans for Tax Reform applauds the Pennsylvania House Republicans for standing up for taxpayers and voting in favor of economic and personal liberty by approving HB 790. ATR is encouraging Pennsylvania State Senators to support this measure and will be educating Pennsylvanians as to how their representatives in Harrisburg vote on this commonsense reform.
For more information on liquor privatization from the Commonwealth Foundation, click here.