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Lower Macungie Township Administration Building
3402 Brookside Road
Macungie, PA 18062
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Phone: (610) 965-9933
Fax: (610) 965-9174

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Topton Borough Hall
205 S Callowhill St.
Topton, PA 19562
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160A East Wing
Harrisburg, PA 17120-2134
Phone: (717) 787-1000
Fax: (717) 782-2893
House Advances Liquor Privatization Bill

HARRISBURG – Striving to phase out the full government control of wine and spirits sales in the Commonwealth, Rep. Ryan Mackenzie (R-Berks/Lehigh) today voted in favor of liquor privatization legislation which passed 105-90 in the House and is now on its way to the Senate.

“As an advocate of free enterprise, I support efforts to add competition to the marketplace and remove government where adequate competition in the private sector can thrive,” said Mackenzie, also vice-chairman of the House Labor and Industry Committee.

“Pennsylvania and Utah are currently the only two states in the country still clinging to this type of state-run system, which is growing more expensive to operate. This legislation would gradually phase out the current state-controlled system, as the number of privately operated outlets increases across Pennsylvania,” he added.

House Bill 790 would allow retail licenses to be sold in an effort to provide greater consumer choice and convenience. More specifically, this bill would make available 1,200 licenses to sell wine and spirits, with beer distributors given the first opportunity to obtain a license.  After the first year, the remaining licenses would be sold to the public.

Under this legislation, grocery store wine licenses and wine-to-go permits would also be created. Beer, however, would not be available for purchase in grocery stores, unless they have a restaurant license.

Furthermore, this bill would also allow consumers to purchase growlers, six-packs or 12-packs at beer distributorships. Under current law, only full cases of beer may be purchased from distributors. Any wine and spirits licenses purchased by an unlicensed entity will not include the sale of beer.

To maintain the safety of all residents across Commonwealth, this legislation would increase monetary penalties for all liquor violations, require all new licensees to use an ID scanner before selling alcohol, and increase funding for the state police’s Bureau of Liquor Control Enforcement.

Under House Bill 790, displaced state-store employees who intend to remain in the workforce will receive a variety of employment opportunities under the plan, including three additional points on the civil service exam and preferential treatment given for state jobs that do not require taking the civil service exam, as long as the employee has the necessary skills.

According to a recent Franklin and Marshall College poll, in general, 84 percent of voters believe that the state legislature should approve the privatization of various state functions and a majority of voters specifically support selling the state-owned liquor stores to private companies.

For more legislative information, visit Mackenzie’s website at or follow his legislative Facebook page at

Representative Ryan Mackenzie
134th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact:  Lauren Whetzel
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