Pennsylvania Governor Vetoes Bill to Privatize the State Liquor Industry

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf exercised his veto power on July 2 to block a bill that would have privatized the state’s liquor industry, according to Philly.com.

The bill would have permitted private stores to sell wine and liquor. Presently, such products are purchasable only at state-controlled shops.

Republicans who proposed the legislation are looking to lease Pennsylvania’s wholesale operations, according to the article, and eventually shut down all state stores.

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“It is unfortunate that Gov. Wolf has rejected moving Pennsylvania into the 21st century when it comes to the sale of wine and spirits,” Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati (R., Jefferson) and Majority Leader Jake Corman (R., Centre) said in a statement. “We remain committed to our position that Pennsylvania should not be in the business of selling liquor.”

Wolf, a Democrat, countered in a statement of his own: “It makes bad business sense for the commonwealth and consumers to sell off an asset, especially before maximizing its value.”

The bill passed through Pennsylvania’s Republican-controlled legislature last week, largely along party lines. Not a single House democrat voted for the measure.

Pennsylvania is the largest state-controlled liquor industry in terms of annual sales.

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