By Tony Romeo
HARRISBURG, Pa. (CBS) — Despite the fact that Pennsylvania has a new governor who has signaled his opposition, Republicans who control the state House are going to try again — teeing up a liquor privatization bill for a vote later this month.
Even though Pennsylvania had a Republican governor at the time who made it a priority, liquor privatization couldn’t get through the Senate in the last session. That Republican governor has been replaced by Democrat Tom Wolf.
Nonetheless, Republican Dave Reed, the House majority leader, says the House will vote on a liquor bill similar to one the passed by the House two years ago, which calls for the phase-out of state stores.
“You know, I think we have a budget discussion ahead of us, where we’re going to be looking for revenue,” Reed says. “I don’t think anybody wants to turn down a potential revenue source, and take it off the table immediately.”
Spokesman Jeff Sheridan says the governor opposes privatization. “The state liquor system can be modernized to produce more revenue than it’s already producing,” he says. “What I can tell you is that he supports modernization, and that includes the removal of Sunday sales limitations.”
The House majority leader says he wants to “begin the negotiation process” on liquor in the context of the upcoming budget process.