Jun. 30, 2015

HARRISBURG – Rep. Jason Ortitay (R-Washington/Allegheny) today announced that the House and the Senate have passed House Bill 466, reaching an agreement that would privatize the state’s liquor system. Pennsylvania is one of just two states that maintain full control of the wholesale and retail sale of wine and spirits.

“Government has many responsibilities, such as providing a quality education, ensuring safe streets and protecting clean air and water,” Ortitay said. “Selling wine and liquor – let alone promoting its use – is not among them.”

When the bill is signed into law, beer distributors will have six months to obtain wine and liquor permits to sell wine and liquor. The number of permits available is based on the current number of licensed distributors in a county.

After six months, any remaining permits not obtained by distributors will be offered to the general public through auction. Current licensees holding a restaurant or hotel license will also have the ability to obtain a newly created wine enhanced permit and liquor enhanced permit to sell a limited amount of wine and liquor to go.

The plan requires the closure of state-run liquor stores. However, stores will close over time, taking into consideration the availability of private-sector service in the area. Through the sale of license fees to wholesalers and the enhancement of permit fees, approximately $220 million will be generated for the Commonwealth.

“A government that devotes its energies to enforcement, compliance and education – rather than selling alcohol – benefits everyone,” Ortitay said. “Getting Pennsylvania out of the liquor business not only eliminates a conflict of interest, but improves convenience for consumers.”

The bill is now headed to the desk of Gov. Tom Wolf to be signed into law.

Representative Jason Ortitay
46th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Morgan Wagner
RepOrtitay.com /Facebook.com/RepOrtitay