FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
State Rep. Mike Sturla
Chairman, Democratic Policy Committee
State Rep. Kevin Murphy
Democratic Policy Committee explores the issue
of liquor store privatization in Pa.
SCRANTON, March 30 – The House Democratic Policy Committee today held a public hearing at the University of Scranton to consider how liquor store privatization would affect the Commonwealth, said Chairman Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster.
State Rep. Kevin Murphy, D-Lackawanna, who serves on the House Liquor Control Committee requested the hearing and served as its co-chairman. Democratic chairman of the House Liquor Control Committee, Rep. Dante Santoni, D-Berks, also attended.
"The House Democratic Policy Committee has been a vital contributor in the debate over liquor store privatization, and what we've seen across the Commonwealth is that retaining this multi-million dollar asset under state control is in the best interest of Pennsylvanians," Sturla said. "Representative Murphy has a unique understanding of the liquor privatization issue as a former auditor of the state's liquor stores for the Auditor General's Office, and provided valuable insight at today's hearing."
"There’s a saying that goes ‘you should never give away the store’. The proposal to privatize our state liquor stores is just that, and is shortsighted and reckless," Murphy said. "The proposal’s numbers don’t add up, and it is ludicrous to sell off a state asset that returns millions annually in revenue back to the taxpayers for a one-time injection of revenue. Politicians should stop using alcohol regulation as a bully pulpit for calling for smaller government; alcohol is regulated because it is potentially harmful."
The committee heard testimony from industry experts and independent researchers including Wendell Young, president, United Food and Commercial Workers 1776; a panel from Independent State Store Union: Neil Cashman Jr., government affairs coordinator; Shawn Evans, store manager, Muncy; and Michael Aquilina, store manager, Hazleton; and Stephen Herzenberg, executive director, Keystone Research Center.
For more information about the Policy Committee and hearing materials, visit www.pahouse.com/PolicyCommittee.