Erie Beer Distributor Weighs In On Privatizing Liquor Sales - WICU12 HD WSEE Erie, PA News, Sports, Weather and Events

Erie Beer Distributor Weighs In On Privatizing Liquor Sales

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On Monday, the House Committee voted in favor 14 to 10 to move Governor Corbett's bill to privatize liquor sales to the floor. Former State Representative John Hornaman said this is the first time he can recall that happening.

"When I was in the House, we turned back several bills that had to do with the liquor store system," said Hornaman.

If passed, the bill would give beer distributors first dibs on getting wine and spirits retail licenses. Joe Tssario, owner of West Lake Beer, said he doesn't know if that license would be worth it.

"With all the craft beers and different imports and different packages, I have trouble selling beer I want to sell," said Tssario. "As far as wine goes, I'd have to see it on paper what it would cost initially."

Tssario said that he doesn't think privatizing liquor sales will help his business and other beer distributors. In fact, he said he's afraid it could put them out of business.

"There's 1,200 beer distributors across the state of Pennsylvania and you would put probably most of us out of business," said Tssario. "I voted for Corbett and why a Republican governor would want to put 1,200 small business in Pennsylvania out of business, it's beyond me. I just don't get it."

And since the bill was passed along to the floor with such a slim margin, Hornaman said when comes to a vote, it could go either way.

"I think at this point, I'd have to take a quarter out of my pocket and flip it. I think it's going to be close."

The House is set to debate this bill Wednesday. A vote is scheduled for Thursday.

 

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