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GOP backs liquor privatization

| Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

Although the recent Brad Bumsted column “Liquor privatization might get a shot” may have given readers a contrary impression, the facts demonstrate that the Senate Republican Caucus has been a strong force in advancing the issue of privatizing the sale of wine and liquor in Pennsylvania.

Many Pennsylvanians feel that such a change is long overdue. House Bill 790, which House Majority Leader Mike Turzai introduced last year, was approved by the House on March 21.

After conducting multiple public hearings on the issue, the Senate Law & Justice Committee advanced the bill on June 24. The committee amended the bill to add provisions addressing the distribution and sale of beer in our state — an issue the original bill did not address. An additional amendment was added on the floor of the Senate on June 28 with virtually unanimous support from Senate Republicans.

House Bill 790 remains poised for further action, and there are ongoing discussions with the House and the governor's office about making significant improvements to how alcohol is sold in Pennsylvania. I hope to reach agreement on these issues so that a bill can be sent to the governor's desk early this year.

Dominic Pileggi

The writer, a Republican, is the state Senate majority leader from Delaware County.

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