Ripe for real change

| Friday, May 2, 2014, 8:57 p.m.

Keystone State residents and visitors are always perplexed by our outdated liquor laws. Convoluted and practically impossible to explain, Pennsylvania's system has been the antithesis of consumer choice for more than 80 years.

The Trib made another pitch to finally enact real change with its editorial “Liquor privatization: Now's the time”.

Pennsylvania consumers want a system for purchasing alcohol that gives them the same convenience that is offered in 48 other states. Likewise, businesses that have been shut out of the market for decades are seeking opportunities to provide their customers with access to the products they want at competitive prices.

When the state House last year passed its plan to open the system for selling alcohol to the private sector, the issue gained unprecedented momentum. This was the first major step toward getting the state out of the business of selling liquor and back toward its appropriate role of enforcement. Businesses and consumers must continue this momentum by applauding lawmakers who are advocating for a change and urging media outlets to continue carrying the discussion.

Pennsylvania needs to release its stranglehold on the sale of alcohol. The momentum is here and the time is right; let's embrace this opportunity and finally make a real change.

Gene Barr


The writer is president and CEO of the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry (

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