Harrisburg Deal on the Way for Liquor Sales?
The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board may be prepared to meet its critics in and out of government halfway. A Senate appropriations hearing today confirmed as much, with proposed concessions and sales updates seemingly OK’d by the PLCB, so long as it gets to stay in existence. Though its unclear how the changes might help out the state budget.
Those proposed changes include:
• Increasing Sunday store hours from noon until either 7pm or 8pm (they’re currently open until 5pm).
• Erase the state limit of only allowing 25 percent of stores open on Sunday.
• Allow the direct shipment of wine and liquor from out-of-state (such as online retailers) to Pennsylvania households.
• Varying the standard 30 percent markup on all bottles of wine.
What wasn’t discussed – and might be the game changer – would be the PLCB as a whole putting more money into the state general fund. It currently contributes $100 million per year, as well as $400 million in taxes. On the face of it, this is the government’s main concern, with more consumer choice and lower prices simply a way to get the people on their side. The proposal is just one piece of the puzzle, too. There’s still a huge statewide majority that wants Harrisburg to privatize sales altogether as well as other crazy ideas being thrown around, such as one that’d give partial wine liquor licenses to restaurants. Corbett’s liquor study group is allegedly looking into this stuff as the state legislature, does, too.