Bipartisan effort to pass wine and liquor modernization brings optimism for budget as deadline approaches

Bipartisan budget negotiations continued in Harrisburg this week with major action on legislation that will help close Pennsylvania’s budget deficit and increase consumer convenience with wine and liquor sales in the state.

Gov. Wolf signed the wine and liquor modernization bill (H.B. 1690) into law on Wednesday. It allows wine to be sold in many more locations, including grocery stores that already sell beer, and permits the direct shipment of wine by licensed producers to consumers at their homes. The law also gives the Liquor Control Board more flexibility to set competitive prices, offer discounts and set state liquor store hours in ways that are more convenient for consumers, including Sundays and holidays.

The measure is projected to increase state revenues by almost $150 million in the fiscal year that begins July 1. 

House Democrats are encouraged by the bipartisan, bicameral negotiations that took the wine and spirits convenience bill across the finish line. The General Assembly and Gov. Wolf must continue to work together to finalize a 2016-17 budget that is truly balanced, fixes the more than $1.5 billion deficit, pays the bills, supports human services and invests in education at all levels.

If this week’s teamwork and collaboration is any indication, Pennsylvania will not be forced into a repeat of last year and will head down the path that starts to fix a broken Harrisburg and rightly puts people before politics.

You can help move Pennsylvania in the right direction and let lawmakers know where you stand on the issues by visiting the House Democrats’ action center.