The Senate Law and Justice Committee voted along party lines Wednesday to amend in to House Bill 1460 an amendment which would provide for liquor modernization and expanded wine and beer sales as part of the budget framework.
Speaking to the changes to the liquor system, Committee Majority Chairman Chuck McIlhinney (R-Bucks) said the most controversial piece of the changes made allows R-license holders to sell four to-go bottles of wine in addition to two six packs.
Other changes in the bill increase the number of R-licenses by allowing “dead R-licenses” to be auctioned off according to certain restrictions, opens all state liquor stores for Sunday sales, and for 24-hour alcohol service in casinos.
The bill also provides for a study commission to look at if and how Pennsylvania should privatize either or both its wholesale or retail liquor markets with those recommendations to be made to the General Assembly by June 30th.
In total, Sen. McIlhinney anticipated the changes will bring in an additional $115 million in revenue above the $80 million in profits seen by the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board with that number tapered for this year since Pennsylvania is halfway through its current fiscal year.