Liquor privatization 'working draft' planned for Pennsylvania
HARRISBURG — Closed-door talks on liquor privatization continued on Tuesday among GOP legislative leaders and the lieutenant governor.
The next step is expected to be consideration of a “working draft” of legislation, perhaps by week's end.
But officials cautioned there's no deal — not even a framework of an agreement to get Pennsylvania out of the business of selling liquor and wine through the Liquor Control Board.
Lt. Gov. Jim Cawley is handling negotiations on behalf of Republican Gov. Tom Corbett, officials said.
House Majority Leader Mike Turzai, the Legislature's leading proponent of a privately run liquor system, called it a “good meeting.” Asked what that meant, Turzai, R-Marshall, said, “There will be another meeting.”
“There have been several productive discussions,” Jay Pagni, Corbett's press secretary said.
Corbett's Chief of Staff Leslie Gromis Baker spent time in Cawley's office after the lieutenant governor met with leaders.
Democratic leaders haven't been participating in the meetings, alegislative aide said.
Talks stalled in June when liquor reform legislation became entangled with a transportation revenue bill. After a $2.4 billion transportation bill won approval of both chambers in September, talks resumed on liquor near the end of 2013.
Pennsylvania and Utah are the only two states controlling both levels of sales. A Turzai-sponsored bill approved by the House last year would authorize up to 1,200 private licenses.
House Speaker Sam Smith, R-Punxsutawney, said in an impromptu interview on Monday that if any agreement emerges it will likely involve a gradual phase-out of the state-run system.
It's hard to imagine liquor divestiture taking place in “one fell swoop,” Smith said. Rather, he said, it's likely to be a “two- or three-step process.”
Brad Bumsted is Trib Total Media's state Capitol writer.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Mother Nature takes a swat at Western Pa. stink bugs
- Sandusky cover-up case unusually shrouded
- Health system with patients in Mercer County victim of hackers
- Pennsylvania allots $681M for cloud-based data storage
- Altered fireworks, chickens found in Interstate 79 crash in West Virginia
- LCB’s biggest store opening in Shadyside neighborhood
- Departing prosecutor in Pennsylvania Turnpike pay-to-play case does not blame lack of resources
- Food fundraisers have to be healthy — it’s the law
- History, family ties might swing Democrats to Philadelphia for convention
- Pennsylvania Department of Health will note fracking complaints