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LCB Privitization Bill

State Senator Rob Wonderling thinks Pennsylvania should get out of the retail liquor business.  I couldn’t agree more.

A bill to privatize retail liquor sales in Pennsylvania was introduced yesterday by a Montgomery County senator who wants the proceeds earmarked to meet the state’s Medicare obligations and to fund a “wholesale structural reform of our state’s health care system.”

Republican Sen. Rob Wonderling said Pennsylvania should get out of the retail liquor business because it is not a core government function.

Under his bill, 30-year franchises for about two-thirds of the 623 state stores would immediately be sold to the highest bidder, while the remaining stores would be offered to a private equity firm. The equity firm would have a 51 percent share, while the state retained a 49 percent share.

The intent for the “hybrid” approach, according to Mr. Wonderling, is to have the equity firm get the stores that are running efficiently, then sell them for the highest possible price.

The state would retain control of the wholesale liquor operation, and there would be no change in how beer is sold.

Of course, I think this bill is a good first step.  I would like to see further privitization, and relaxing the regulations on beer and wine sales to be more in line with other states.

4 Responses to “LCB Privitization Bill”

  1. I miss not being able to buy beer, wine, and liquor at the supermarket or Sam’s Club. And how did this beer store/distributor idiocy get started? What’s the point in having both?

  2. Sebastian says:

    I think it started after prohibition was lifted.

  3. joated says:

    I miss not being able to buy just a six pack of beer. I don’t drink more than that in a month and if the stuff sits too long it does get a little skunky to my taste. Being “forced’ to purchase a case at a time is rediculous.

  4. Brad says:

    If I remember correctly, it started after prohibition when the state forced the separation of brewer, distributor, and tavern – for beer. They’ve messed with the law on occasion, particularly when it comes to brew pubs, but they’ve pretty much maintained that separation in that you have to buy six packs at a tavern and cases from distributors.

    This wouldn’t be too much of a problem except that often, I want different kinds of beers, and I don’t feel like buying a case of just one. Some breweries like Sam Adams have offered up sampler cases, but that’s more the exception. And I can’t buy more than 12 bottles of beer from a tavern at any given time, so the idea of going to the tavern and getting a six of this, a six of that, and a six of something else is shot to hell.

    If the state of PA is going to continue this kind of arcane sales model, they might as well emulate the Beer Store concept in Ontario. At least you can get six packs, twelve packs, and cases of 24 or 36 beers. And it’s at least stored cold.

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