FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
State Rep. Mike Sturla
Chairman, Democratic Policy Committee
State Rep. Marc Gergely
Democratic Policy Committee examines issues related to the privatization of the state's liquor stores
McKEESPORT, March 22 – The House Democratic Policy Committee held a public hearing today in McKeesport to look more closely at the issue of liquor store privatization, said Chairman Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster.
State Rep. Marc Gergely, D-Allegheny, requested the hearing and served as its co-chair. Rep. Dante Santoni, D-Berks, the Democratic chairman of the House Liquor Control Committee, was also in attendance.
"We continue to learn more about the negative impact that privatization of the state's liquor stores would have on Pennsylvania, as well as how it would impact local communities," Sturla said. "Representative Gergely has been a tireless advocate in Harrisburg for his communities' interests, and I applaud him for bringing to light the effect privatization would have on the Commonwealth's budget, as well as his local municipalities."
"The information we learned at this hearing raises serious questions about the negative impact of selling the state stores to private industry." Gergely said. "While this may be a one-time money grab by the state, the business will pass that cost on to consumers with higher prices. Plus, I'm concerned Republican leaders in Harrisburg will allow those private investors to open many more liquor stores throughout the Mon Valley."
Those testifying included Ed Cloonan, former president, executive director and store manager (retired), Independent State Store Union; Antony Davies, professor, Duquesne University; a panel from United Food and Commercial Workers: Wendell Young, president, UFCW 1776, and Tony Helfer, president, UFCW 23; and Rev. Ron Wanless, board of directors, United Methodist Advocacy of Pennsylvania.
For more information about the Policy Committee and hearing materials, visit www.pahouse.com/PolicyCommittee.