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Politics & Government

It's Back: State Lawmakers Talking About Liquor Privatization Again

Republican state lawmakers are in talks to keep the issue of liquor privatization alive in the coming months.

House Majority Leader Mike Turzai, the most dogged legislative supporter of the push, said Lt. Gov. Jim Cawley is once again leading the effort to phase out state wine and spirits stores.

He said the fact that it’s an election year will work to the advantage of supporters.

"I think it’s helpful because it’s a very, very tangible thing that the vast majority of Pennsylvanians want and it’s true for every demographic and it’s true for every region in the state," Turzai said.

House lawmakers passed a privatization plan last spring, but progress stalled last summer as Senate lawmakers took the measure under consideration.

In the past, Senate President Pro Tem Joe Scarnati, the state’s ranking senator, has thrown cold water on efforts to sell off state stores, preferring moves that make it more convenient to buy alcohol across the commonwealth.

He said he thinks consumers want to see something change this year.