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Liquor Privatization, Medicaid Expansion Advance In PA Senate

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(The state capitol in Harrisburg.  File photo)

(The state capitol in Harrisburg. 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) — With less than two days left before the legislature’s scheduled summer recess Sunday night, two major pieces of legislation – liquor privatization and Medicaid expansion – have moved forward in the state Senate.

The House back in March passed a liquor privatization bill and now the concept has cleared a major hurdle in the Senate, in the form of an amendment to the House bill passed early Saturday morning.

“House Bill 790 will make historic changes to how alcohol is sold in Pennsylvania,” said Chester Republican Dominic Pileggi, the Senate majority leader.

The Senate amendment allows for private retailers to sell wine and spirits and provides a formula to close down state stores.

Meanwhile, a Senate committee has approved an expansion of Medicaid for Pennsylvania. Philadelphia Democrat Vincent Hughes is upbeat, even though the fate of the measure in the House is uncertain at best.

“The House will have to hear a strong message from the Senate that we want to have this happen,” Hughes said.

The Senate measure would provide conditions for the expansion of Medicaid.

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