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2012 Year In Review: Attempt To Privatize Pa. Liquor Stores Fails – Again

(A Pennsylvania liquor store, in Philadelphia.  File photo)

(A Pennsylvania liquor store, in Philadelphia. File photo)

(Capitol dome, Harrisburg, Pa.   File photo) Tony Romeo
  Tony Romeo is Harrisburg bureau chief for KYW Newsradio...
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By Tony Romeo

HARRISBURG, Pa. (CBS) – The failure of yet another attempt to privatize liquor sales in Pennsylvania was one of the big stories of 2012.

On an evening in mid-June, the Pennsylvania House actually began debate on legislation to dismantle the state store system, an initiative high on the agenda of the GOP majority leader of the House.

But even fellow Republican Scott Petri of Bucks County expressed misgivings about the measure.

“What this amendment does is change a state monopoly into a privately held monopoly,” said Scott Petri.

The House ended debate that night without voting on the matter and it was never taken up during the remainder of the session, but House Majority Leader Mike Turzai has indicated he’ll try again in the new two-year session.

“We’ve completely changed the dynamics and the framework within which people view it,” said Turzai.

But with Governor Corbett heading into the third year of his tenure and the same forces that have thwarted efforts for decades still arrayed many political analysts believe that the momentum for this latest push to privatize liquor sales may have peaked.

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