Free the wine

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Two years ago this week, Republicans convinced Gov. Wolf to sign Act 39, which allowed the sale of wine in private sector stores, mainly grocery stores like this one. Currently, 691 liquor license holders have obtained the additional license to sell wine to-go. Of those, 420 are grocery and convenience stores. It is clear these stores want the ability to provide this convenience to their customers. And we believe more would with needed reforms.

We think the time is right to get House Bill 975 on the governor’s desk by the end of the legislative session in November. The bill would allow all 6,103 grocery stores in the state to sell wine and remove price floor requirements to decrease costs and increase competition.

The House has passed complete privatization four times, and Gov. Wolf vetoed the one time it was on his desk. Please, governor, at least agree with the people that all wine should be sold in private sector stores.

As noted, between 2013 and 2015 House Republicans voted to privatize the sale of wine and spirits four separate times. House Bill 790 was passed on March 21, 2013; House Bill 466 was passed on Feb. 26, 2015; House Bill 466 was passed on concurrence on June 30, 2015, and put on the governor’s desk, which he promptly vetoed; lastly, House Bill 1690 was passed on Nov. 19, 2015, and sent to the Senate before it became the legislative vehicle for a compromise.

House Speaker Mike Turzai (R-Allegheny)

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