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Wine Shipments Bill Still Wrapped Up In Privatization Debate

(Credit: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

(Credit: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

(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) – There is considerable support among state lawmakers for legislation that would allow for direct shipments of wine to consumers homes. But, the fate of that legislation was and still is linked to the broader debate over privatizing sales of wine and spirits in Pennsylvania.

There is support in the state House and Senate for allowing direct wine shipments. But, that was true in the last two-year session of the legislature and a bill did not get to the governor. One big reason is that Republican leaders of the GOP-controlled House said they didn’t want to deal with alcohol privatization on a piecemeal basis.

House GOP spokesman Steve Miskin said, “We obviously would like to, and think it is better and cleaner, to have direct shipment as part of an overall privatization bill. And we still believe that.”

The House has actually passed a wine shipment bill in the new session. But, history suggests that the House will have to vote on it again, either because the Senate passes its own bill or makes changes to the House bill. And what happens then?

Miskin: “We’ll see how discussions progress on privatization.”

Reporter: “Is it possible that you will continue to take the position that we don’t want to do this piecemeal?”

Miskin: “That is absolutely possible.”

A comprehensive privatization bill stalled in the legislature’s final days before summer recess.

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