Capitol reporter Mary Wilson covers Pennsylvania politics and issues at the Pennsylvania state capitol.
A state Senate panel that's key to the debate over liquor privatization will soon hold its final hearing on the full spectrum of calls to change the way alcohol is bought and sold in Pennsylvania.
It's the third hearing scheduled in the Senate Law and Justice Committee over a plan to phase out the state's wine and spirits stores. House lawmakers sent the proposal to the Senate more than two months ago.
Gov. Corbett had stern words for senators last week when he called for speedier action on a liquor privatization bill.
But Lt. Gov. Jim Cawley isn't lobbing bombs, despite the fact that he helped draft the governor's original privatization proposal unveiled in January.
"I think that the Senate and (Law and Justice Committee) Chairman Chuck McIlhinney - who has been a personal friend of mine for 25 years - is taking the steps that they deem appropriate in order to be able to make sure that the members of the Senate can make an informed decision," said Cawley.
The administration has been invited to testify at the final hearing, along with two unions representing state wine and spirits store employees. A proposal incorporating the findings of all three hearings isn't expected until mid-June.
Sen. Chuck McIlhinney (R-Bucks) has also suggested the issue could wait until the fall.
"Well, the Senate is well known to be a deliberative and thoughtful body," said Cawley.
If McIlhinney's intention was to prolong deliberations in order to let some of the public air out of the privatization balloon, a recent poll shows he may have gotten his wish. A Franklin and Marshall College survey shows support for liquor privatization across the state is on the decline. 47 percent of respondents to a May survey back getting rid of the state stores - a drop of six points since February.
Published in State House Sound Bitesback to top
Support for WITF is provided by:
Support for witf is provided by: