Speaker’s Wine Privatization Leads to Grocery Store Sales
HARRISBURG – Speaker of the House Mike Turzai (R-Allegheny) has applauded the approval of an initial wave of permits for Pennsylvania grocery stores and other private entities to sell wine as a part of his privatization measures in Act 39 of 2016.

“With these approvals, Pennsylvania consumers will now enter the 21st century and start to have the conveniences they have long sought,” said Turzai. “This is just another step toward delivering full privatization in the years ahead.”

More than 80 Pennsylvania grocery and other eligible stores were approved for wine expanded licenses (WEPs) under the speaker’s bill today, with dozens more expected in the days ahead. In addition, more than 50 wineries in 10 states have applied for direct shipping permits that will allow consumers to have wine delivered to their homes. Pennsylvania has become the 44th state to permit direct shipping.

“Wine in grocery stores is a monumental shift marking the move of the sale of wine to the private sector,” said Turzai.

Since 2009, Turzai has led efforts to privatize liquor and wine sales by dismantling the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board’s total control over both retail and wholesale sales of wine and liquor. Pennsylvania consumers will also soon be able have direct shipment of wine to their homes and have wine-to-go from restaurants and hotels.

The House first passed full privatization first in March 2013, via House Bill 790, but the Senate did not vote on the bill. The House then passed full privatization three additional times this session. The House passed House Bill 466 on Feb. 25, 2015, where it was slightly amended by the Senate on June 30, 2015, and concurred upon in the House. The bill was vetoed by Gov. Tom Wolf. The House once again passed full privatization, House Bill 1690, on Nov. 19, 2015.

While the House had initially sought more expansive privatization, in the spirit of compromise, an amended version of Turzai’s House Bill 1690 was passed by the House on June 7, 2016, by a vote of 157-31. That bill was signed into law by the governor June 8, and was effective after 60 days, Aug. 8, 2016, when applications from private-sector businesses started to be received.

“Once Pennsylvanians see the benefits of grocery store wine sales, direct shipments and wine-to-go by restaurateurs, full privatization will be the next step,” said Turzai.

Pennsylvania had once been one of only two states where government had full control over both retail and wholesale sale of wine and liquor.

Representative Mike Turzai
The Speaker
28th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Jay Ostrich
717.772.9943 (office), 717.649.6547 (cell)
RepTurzai.com / facebook.com/RepTurzai / @RepTurzai
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