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Pa. Lawmaker Says Privatization Plan Would Limit Number Of Liquor Stores

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(Credit: CBS 3)

(Credit: CBS 3)

(Capitol dome, Harrisburg, Pa.   File photo) Tony Romeo
  Tony Romeo is Harrisburg bureau chief for KYW Newsradio...
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HARRISBURG, Pa. (CBS) – The chairman of the state House Liquor Control Committee says the push to privatize booze sales in Pennsylvania means a delicate balance between public safety and consumer convenience in the city of Philadelphia.

The privatization plan (read more about the debate over liquor store privatization) championed by the state House majority leader would keep the number of liquor stores in the city of Philadelphia essentially the same, at 60. John Taylor, a Philadelphia Republican, is chairman of the House Liquor Control Committee, “Well, I think that’s the balance that the majority leader is trying to strike. I think he knows that our primary concern in Philadelphia will be a liquor store on every corner.”

But Taylor, whose committee began hearings on privatization last week, admits that defeats the argument of making liquor sales more convenient. And Taylor worries that Philadelphia will end up with hole-in-the-wall stores.

Jim Mann, top attorney for the House Republican caucus, says because of that fact and the limited number of licenses in Philadelphia, “And the likely cost of those licenses in Philadelphia, because there’s a significant amount of revenue that’s generated in the city, you’re more likely to see the Joe Canals and Total Wines of the world in the city.”

He believes that, along with the cost and limited number of the licenses, will encourage nicer, bigger stores in Philadelphia.

Reported by Harrisburg Bureau Chief Tony Romeo, KYW Newsradio 1060

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