HARRISBURG - The Pennsylvania House is nearing a vote to replace hundreds of state-owned liquor stores with sales through private businesses, an important step that would shift debate to the state Senate.
The liquor privatization bill was reported out of a committee Thursday morning after a debate that highlighted the issue's partisan divisions. Democrats raised questions about specifics of the Republican-sponsored proposal but lost the vote.
Also Thursday, Senate Republican Leader Dominic Pileggi said his focus is on improving "selection, price and convenience," and that the House bill was likely to undergo revisions.
Gov. Tom Corbett supports liquor privatization, and has said he wants to spend the hundreds of millions of dollars it would generate to improve public education. The House proposal does not specify how the proceeds would be used.