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GOP Power in Harrisburg And What It Means For State Stores

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(File photo of Pa. House Majority Leader Mike Turzai of Allegheny County)

(File photo of Pa. House Majority Leader Mike Turzai of Allegheny County)

(Capitol dome, Harrisburg, Pa.   File photo) Tony Romeo
  Tony Romeo is Harrisburg bureau chief for KYW Newsradio...
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HARRISBURG (CBS) – When a new Pennsylvania governor and legislature get to work later this month, there will be a new push to sell off state-owned wine and liquor stores. However, that does not mean a broad overhaul of state liquor law is in the offing.

The GOP will have majorities in both the state House and Senate, a Republican governor and a multibillion dollar shortfall in the next budget. That may mean the stars are aligned for a serious attempt to sell state stores. However, the man who’ll lead the charge, House Majority Leader Mike Turzai of Allegheny County, said that’s his only interest.

He said an attempt to revamp the state liquor law to address issues like the sale of beer in grocery stores could bog his legislation down. “The more complicated folks try to make the legislation, the more difficult it will be to get it done,” Turazi said, “and the fact of the matter is, it’s a straightforward proposal.”

Turzai said his legislation proposes to auction off 750 retail and 100 wholesale licenses for the sale of wine and spirits, with ownership capped at 5-percent of those licenses.

Reported by: Tony Romeo, KYW Newsradio

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