State Senator Rob Wonderling thinks Pennsylvania should get out of the retail liquor business.Â 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.Â I would like to see further privitization, and relaxing the regulations on beer and wine sales to be more in line with other states.