An Act to increase registration and taxes for gasoline failed to be passed in the State House by one hundred and three votes to ninety-eight votes. A second bill was proposed but pulled down after it was clear that there was no support from the House. Turzai proposed another Bill that targeted spending nine hundred million dollars to renovate deteriorating highways, bridges, and transit road systems. The state Senate wanted to pass another different transportation Act in June 2013 getting Two and a half billion dollars from sponsors (like National Credit Systems). The state had not gathered enough support to pass the bill.
The state approved a bill in November 2013 known as the Gambling expansion bill which had one hundred and two votes by ninety-six. It would permit taverns and bars to introduce small-scale gambling units such as drawings, lottery, and raffles for prizes and money to be won. The Republican opponents of the bill suggested the state raise one hundred and fifty-six million dollars yearly from tax. Turzai was in support of it, saying it had positively impacted the budget adding that the bill would affect the families.
From 2002, Mike Turzai was known for his zeal in fighting for the privatization of the liquor business in Pennsylvania. Finally, on March 5, 2013, Mike became the prime sponsor of House Bill 790 which was known as the LCC (Liquor Control Committee). The Bill was a legislative proposal voiced by Turzai and Tom Corbett to privatize the wholesale retail of liquor stores. This was to use the revenue acquired to fund the education system.
The plan was to see the state’s liquor (wines and spirits) stores auctioned off, paving way for convenience stores, box stores, and supermarkets to sell controlled quantities of liquor in the stores. Food joints and restaurants would be allowed to sell customers up to 6 bottles of beer and wine. The Bill also encouraged retail beer distributors to acquire licenses to sell both wine and spirits instead of only selling beer.
The fees generated by auctions and licenses were estimated to shoot to $1 billion in 4 years. Turzai and Corbett planned to distribute the funds generated to school districts following the formula provided by the student income level. The distributed funds would help boost the following:
- Mathematics programming education
- Personal learning
- Early education
- Engineering – science, and technology
On January 30, 2013, during a press conference release, it was discovered that Pennsylvania lost tax revenue every time a resident went out of the state to buy liquor. The government used over Ten million dollars to bring about its brand of wine to challenge the private wineries. As soon as the Bill was amended to privatize the selling of liquor in wholesale, the number of big box stores and private stores multiplied forcing government stores to shut down within 6 months.
Mike Turzai and Tom Corbett were commended by the Commonwealth Foundation for privatizing the liquor proposal. During a press release, Corbett did not make any comment concerning the approach to negotiations of the privatization with the Pennsylvania senate but emphasized his willingness to support the proposal.
Mike Turzai is married to Lidia, with whom he has three sons; Matthew, Andrew, and Stephen. He resides with his family in Marshall Township, Allegheny County.