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Liquor Overhaul Proposal Unveiled In State Senate

June 19, 2013

State Senate Republicans on Tuesday unveiled a new proposal to overhaul the sale of liquor in Pennsylvania, but they are still looking for the votes to move the plan through the Senate and to reconcile it with a House plan.

The Senate legislation, written by Senator Charles McIlhinney from Berks County, does not call for the closings of state stores or for the end of state control over wholesale liquor operations, as sought in the House and by Governor Tom Corbett.

Under the McIlhinney plan, bars, distributors, hotels and restaurants which are existing beer license holders could purchase permits to sell wine and spirits.  Beer could be sold in a wider variety of quantities.  Sales hours would be expanded.  And, the so-called Johnstown Sales Tax would be eliminated.

Even if the legislation were to pass the Senate this month, it would not make its way to the House before lawmakers take their summer recess.

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