Live Updates: HB790 Wine And Spirits Privatization

House Bill 790 is moving forward in the house today, with a House Appropriations Committee hearing at 10am and a floor vote likely this afternoon.  This terrible privatization scheme will eliminate 5,000 good family-sustaining jobs, damaging our economy and communities.

If you have not already done so, there is still time to email your legislator and tell them to VOTE NO on HB 790.  CLICK HERE to email your representative.

We will be updating this post throughout the day with live updates on the proceedings.

  • 6:05pm – Rep. Jordan Harris: “I can not and I will not betray our hard-working employees of the Wine and Spirits stores.”
  • 4:22pm – Rep. Scott Conklin: “You gotta choose who you stand with in life.  I stand with the people who work every day.”
  • 3:49pm – A motion by Rep. DiGirolamo to recommit HB790 to the Human Services Committee failed by a vote of 87 to 108.
  • 3:30pm – Representative DiGirolamo (R-Bucks) is standing now in opposition to HB790, saying that the passage of this bill will result in a “slow, painful journey to the unemployment line” for 4500 Pennsylvanians.
  • 3:15pm – “There’s 5000 families going out on the street if this bill becomes law.” – Representative Curtis Thomas
  • 2:00pm – HB790 is currently being debated on the house floor.
  • 12:00pm – HB790 voted out of the House Appropriations Committee.
  • 11:05am – Representative Adolph, Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, just claimed that there would be no costs to the Commonwealth associated with closing the state stores.  The analysis requested by the Governor’s office last year estimated these costs to exceed $1 billion.
  • 10:15am – The House Appropriations Committee hearing is underway.  You can watch live online at PCN.
  • 9:00am – Summary of adopted amendments from 3/20/13
    • A00526 (Tobash) – Prevents a restaurant licensee from obtaining a wine to go permit if the restaurant has an interior connection to an unlicensed premises.  For example, a cafe with an R-license inside of a grocery store could not get a wine to go license if the grocery store itself did not have an R-license.
    • A00530 (Marshall) – Limits the number of bottles a grocery store retail licensee may sell to twelve (12).
    • A00533 (Brooks) – Prohibit the sale of wine via automatic scanner/checkouts.  Requires wine sales to be done at a register manned by a sales clerk.
    • A00534 (Scavello) – Allows an importing distributor or distributor to choose if they will accept credit cards as payment for beer sales.
    • A00535 (Everett) – Allows an importing distributor to obtain a Wine and Spirit retail license as long as they don’t obtain a wine and spirit wholesale license.
    • A00536 (Quinn) – Clarifies the distribution of wine and spirit licenses in counties, relative to the number of beer distributors and even distribution on a per capita basis.
    • A00546 (Taylor) – Allows wine and spirit wholesale licensees to sell to the PLCB; Prevents the relocation of PLC stores once privatization commences; Allows the PLCB to hire temporary workers during the transition; Takes out the term ‘supervisory’ as it relates to the State police, expanding their responsibilities relating to liquor control enforcement; Puts the current 18% liquor tax back to the retail level where it is in current law.