State Rep. Mike Sturla

Chairman, Democratic Policy Committee

State Rep. Flo Fabrizio


Hearing Co-Chairman    



Democratic Policy Committee explores liquor store privatization


ERIE, March 17 – The House Democratic Policy Committee today held a public hearing at the Tom Ridge Environmental Center to consider liquor store privatization in Pennsylvania, according to Chairman Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster.


The hearing was co-led by state Rep. Flo Fabrizio, D-Erie, and House Liquor Control Committee Democratic Chairman Dante Santoni, D-Berks, also attended.


"There are false claims regarding the fiscal impact of liquor privatization being asserted by backers of the potential plan," Sturla said. "We're holding these public hearings in order to separate the truth from the fiction when it comes selling this valuable public asset. The consequences on the state's coffers every year could be cataclysmic not to mention the increased social costs on communities across the Commonwealth."


"Today's hearing on liquor privatization was extremely useful in debunking many of the myths being spread by those in favor of privatization," Fabrizio said. "The reality is that selling our state stores will not produce the revenue that some people are claiming."


Santoni said: "Governor Corbett campaigned on privatizing the state’s liquor stores. No specific plan has been proposed by him yet. These hearings allow members to hear from the public now. This debate is not a new one for Pennsylvanians and the answer to what will happen depends entirely on what the specific proposal will be."


Those testifying included Wendell Young, president, UFCW 1776; Tony Helfer, president, UFCW 23; a

panel from the Independent State Stores Union: Anthony Ciotti, store manager, Erie; and Nathan Bauschard, store manager, Erie; Robert Mazza, president, Mazza Vineyards; and Donna Burkhart, board director, United Methodist Advocacy in Pennsylvania.


For more information about the Policy Committee and hearing materials, visit