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Pennsylvania Governor Vetoes Privatization Bill, But Is Open To Wine In Supermarkets

July 6, 2015

As expected, Pennsylvania governor Tom Wolf has vetoed the state legislature’s plan to privatize the state’s wholesale and retail wine and spirits businesses, but in doing so he signaled support for expanding availability of wine and beer in the supermarket sector, among other outlets.

Wolf, a Democrat, also supports modernizing the existing state-owned retail wine and spirits system with moves including extending retail hours, variable pricing and direct shipment of wine.

The governor said the legislature’s privatization bill would have “resulted in higher prices for consumers,” and invoked the aftermath of Washington state’s recent privatization of its control system as an example. Republican state senator Chuck McIlhinney, who chairs the Law and Justice Committee, said in response to the governor’s veto that he “will now shift our focus to improving our system with consumer convenience” rather than continuing to pursue full-scale privatization.

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