By Tony Romeo

HARRISBURG, Pa. (CBS) – With less than two weeks before the legislature’s scheduled summer recess, Republican leaders in the GOP-controlled state Senate have taken the wraps off their proposal to reform liquor sales in Pennsylvania (see related story).

The state House months ago passed its’ liquor bill and now it’s the Senate’s turn to tackle the issue. The proposal from Bucks County Republican Chuck McIlhinney is different than the House version in major ways.

While it would allow for private retailers to sell wine and spirits, McIlhinney’s bill would leave it up to the LCB to shut down state stores.

“The financial viability of the store, their current lease situation, and whether or not the private sector has provided for the service in the area.”

But McIlhinney’s bill does not provide the kind of formula to close state stores as the House bill does, nor does it provide a timetable to sell off the state’s wholesale liquor operations.

But Senate Republican leaders say before they can worry about getting a liquor bill through the House, they have to find enough votes to get a measure through the Senate, something right now they admit they don’t have.

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