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Politics & Government

Lt. Gov. Calls on 'Deliberative' State Senators to Support Liquor Privatization Plan

A series of hearings on liquor privatization in Pennsylvania will soon come to an end in the state Senate.

Lawmakers next week plan to finish up a trio of gatherings spurred by the House’s passage of a plan in March to phase out the state’s wine and spirits stores.

Gov. Tom Corbett has blasted state senators for dragging their feet on the issue. But Lt. Gov. Jim Cawley, who helped draft the administration’s privatization plan, has said the Senate has always been “deliberative.”

He said senators should heed the messages they’re getting from Pennsylvanians.

"They want the same convenience, they want the same selection, they want the same competitive pricing when it comes to the availability of wine and spirits that the citizens of 48 other states already enjoy," Cawley said. "So we are going to try to provide our bosses, the people of Pennsylvania, what it is that they want."  

A recent Franklin and Marshall College poll showed support for liquor privatization across the state is on the decline.

Forty-seven percent of respondents to a May survey back getting rid of the state stores, a drop of six points since February.

Cawley said the early June hearing on the liquor privatization matter will give the governor’s office a chance to voice its position. He said he’s cautiously optimistic a privatization plan can be passed before the traditional summer recess – in spite of the fact that the Senate has shown to have less of an appetite for the proposal handed over by House lawmakers.