Alcohol

A Little Bit of Wine Freedom in Pennsylvania

Wine can be sold in grocery stores and elsewhere, but state liquor stores still in place.

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Design Hunt/flickr

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf (D) signed legislation this week that will permit, among other things, grocery stores that sell beer to sell wine as well. Currently, hard liquor and wines can only be bought in state-owned and state-operated "Wine & Spirits" stores.

The new legislation will go into effect in 60 days, and will also permit restaurants and hotels to sell up to four bottles of wine to-go, permit Pennsylvania residents to have wine shipped directly to their homes, permit gas stations to sell six-packs, allow stores, state-owned and otherwise, to open on state holidays and to remain open longer on Sundays, and permit state-owned stores to engage in "flexible pricing" for "special discounts and sales."

"This historic legislation is a tremendous leap into bringing Pennsylvanian into the 21st century," said Republican House Speaker Mike Turzai, who sponsored the legislation. "This privatization bill will bring consumers the added choice and convenience they have been asking for since Prohibition."

Complete privatization, of course, would require the state to relinquish its liquor monopoly and get out of the liquor business altogether, something it has been in since the end of prohibition. Seventeen states exercise monopoly control over at least some sorts of alcohol.

Supporters of the monopoly system hopes these reforms will help keep it in place. "Making smart changes at the state's Fine Wine and Good Spirits Stores will also help to maintain thousands of existing jobs and increase revenue to begin closing our huge budget gap," said Democratic State Rep. Paul Costa.

The previous governor, Republican Tom Corbett, tried to push the issue of liquor privatization, getting some legislation to move in 2013, but was defeated in his re-election the following year by Wolf. 61 percent of Pennsylvania residents supported ending government sale and distribution of alcohol in a 2013 poll.

You can offer suggestions for good wine delivery for Pennsylvania residents who can enjoy it legally now in the comments.

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  1. Obama has endorsed Hillary.

    Looking like it’s all up to Comey at this point.

    1. He doesn’t sound like a guy who has much doubt about how that FBI investigation is going to go.

    2. Why do we think that Obama’s endorsement of Hillary will have anything to do with any later desire by Obama’s DOJ to indict her? How hard would it be for him to pivot from, “She’s the candidate for our Democratic Party,” to “New events have shown me that I had no idea how deep her corruption went…” Isn’t this exactly the same as the stereotypical evil overlord hugging the underling to his breast, claiming all is forgiven, then issuing the death order the second the underling walks out of the throne chamber?

      The Democrats are busy trying to figure out how to get Sanders’s followers back into line. Letting him have his say at the Convention, allowing him to insert a few planks into the platform, and giving him some position within the Party, while he gets crushed on the first ballot, seems to be an ok way to extend a carrot to the people following him. While making sure that he’s not any of the nominees. Once Sanders is locked out, then you can figure out whether you want Hillary to remain the candidate or not.

      I still think who is picked to be Hil’s VP is going to tell us more about where this server scandal goes, than any Obama endorsement or other DNC hack telling us that “Everything is fine!” Pick someone like Julian Castro or Cory Booker? She’s staying. Pick Tim Kaine, Mark Warner, or Biden? I’m not so sure.

      Look, isn’t a lot of the Trump vote driven by anti-Hillary animus? Get rid of Hil, and then what?

    3. Why do we think that Obama’s endorsement of Hillary will have anything to do with any later desire by Obama’s DOJ to indict her? How hard would it be for him to pivot from, “She’s the candidate for our Democratic Party,” to “New events have shown me that I had no idea how deep her corruption went…” Isn’t this exactly the same as the stereotypical evil overlord hugging the underling to his breast, claiming all is forgiven, then issuing the death order the second the underling walks out of the throne chamber?

      The Democrats are busy trying to figure out how to get Sanders’s followers back into line. Letting him have his say at the Convention, allowing him to insert a few planks into the platform, and giving him some position within the Party, while he gets crushed on the first ballot, seems to be an ok way to extend a carrot to the people following him. While making sure that he’s not any of the nominees. Once Sanders is locked out, then you can figure out whether you want Hillary to remain the candidate or not.

      I still think who is picked to be Hil’s VP is going to tell us more about where this server scandal goes, than any Obama endorsement or other DNC hack telling us that “Everything is fine!” Pick someone like Julian Castro or Cory Booker? She’s staying. Pick Tim Kaine, Mark Warner, or Biden? I’m not so sure.

      Look, isn’t a lot of the Trump vote driven by anti-Hillary animus? Get rid of Hil, and then what?

    4. Why do we think that Obama’s endorsement of Hillary will have anything to do with any later desire by Obama’s DOJ to indict her? How hard would it be for him to pivot from, “She’s the candidate for our Democratic Party,” to “New events have shown me that I had no idea how deep her corruption went…” Isn’t this exactly the same as the stereotypical evil overlord hugging the underling to his breast, claiming all is forgiven, then issuing the death order the second the underling walks out of the throne chamber?

      The Democrats are busy trying to figure out how to get Sanders’s followers back into line. Letting him have his say at the Convention, allowing him to insert a few planks into the platform, and giving him some position within the Party, while he gets crushed on the first ballot, seems to be an ok way to extend a carrot to the people following him. While making sure that he’s not any of the nominees. Once Sanders is locked out, then you can figure out whether you want Hillary to remain the candidate or not.

      I still think who is picked to be Hil’s VP is going to tell us more about where this server scandal goes, than any Obama endorsement or other DNC hack telling us that “Everything is fine!” Pick someone like Julian Castro or Cory Booker? She’s staying. Pick Tim Kaine, Mark Warner, or Biden? I’m not so sure.

      Look, isn’t a lot of the Trump vote driven by anti-Hillary animus? Get rid of Hil, and then what?

      1. Obama could do that, sure. He also could have waited to endorse her which would seem to be more rational given she’s being investigated. The latter makes more sense.

  2. “Seventeen states exercise monopoly control over at least some sorts of alcohol.”

    I think this is an example of socialism working as intended.

    Think about it – the people who pushed for liquor monopolies generally did so because they wanted to *limit* the legal supply of liquor, and what better way to accomplish this than to require liquor to be sold out of state-owned stores?

    1. I wonder how many of the liquor monopolies cited in the article refer to the fact that in many states, alcohol distributors enjoy exclusivity within a given geographical region? Oh, and in some of the states, the distributor gets to say if or when the alcohol producer may change distributors within that state.

      Even with phasing out state liquor or beer and wine stores, the three-tier system is still a huge distance away from being a free market.

      1. That would be close to 50 states, not 17.

        DC is actually the relatively free exception.

    2. This. The county where I grew up has a liquor monopoly, and limiting the supply was the stated reason.

  3. Almost a century since it started, we are still slowly trying to undo the remnants of alcohol prohibition. Government does not go gently into the good night.

    1. Rage, rage against the dawning of the light.

      1. If I’m going to rage I need liquor, not wine.

        1. Why are you afraid to express your feelings? Have a few glasses of a nice, crisp, white zin and let it all out.

          1. Have a few glasses of a nice, crisp, white zin

            I had no idea you were gay.

          2. My dad knows I don’t mind a merlot, so once he bought me a bottle of white merlot.

            Oh dear was it a ghastly fruity thing.

        2. I express plenty of feelings. For example. I feel as though you suck and should get hit by a bus.

          1. That’s a long story, but it all starts when my parents didn’t get me what I wanted for Christmas when I was seven.

            1. A bottle of scotch?

          2. “Wo wo wo” feelings?

  4. What, what is that horseshit? You have to go to a government store to buy booze? Jesus Fucking Christ

    In CA of all places, you can buy booze at grocery stores, Bevmo, 7-11’s, etc.

    1. In KY, of all places, you can buy booze at etc, etc.

      Even on Sundays, in most cities.

      Of course, this is assuming your county/city it not dry.

  5. Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf (D) signed legislation this week that will permit, among other things, grocery stores that sell beer to sell wine as well.

    BOTH of the grocery stores???

  6. You can offer suggestions for good wine delivery for Pennsylvania residents who can enjoy it legally now in the comments.

    Is this that libertarian moment Nick likes to write about?

    1. Hey, even Kasich signed a restrictive med-MJ bill in Ohio to keep more liberal options off the November ballot.

  7. Isn’t Wolf the guy who claimed a state controlled liquor monopoly is a good thing as reported by Reason a while back?

    1. Alas, the Dems in this state are some of the stupidest…

      “Making smart changes at the state’s Fine Wine and Good Spirits Stores will also help to maintain thousands of existing jobs and increase revenue to begin closing our huge budget gap,” said Democratic State Rep. Paul Costa.

  8. My neighbor’s half-sister got paid $18590 last month. she been working on the internet and moved in a $397900 home. All she did was get blessed and apply the instructions uncovered on this website..

    browse this site…. Go Here._______________ http://www.earnmore9.com

    1. “Get blessed”, eh?

      These euphemisms ….

      1. Earn more 9?

    2. All she did was get blessed and apply the instructions uncovered on this website

      These masturbation euphemisms are getting downright sacrilegious.

    3. “My neighbor’s half-sister got paid $18590 last month”

      You and your neighbors aren’t very big on privacy, are you?

    4. These bots are getting awfully specific. “Neighbor’s half-sister”? Why not just go for the “my cousin’s friend’s uncle by marriage’s daughter”

  9. Complete privatization, of course, would require the state to relinquish its liquor monopoly and get out of the liquor business altogether, something it has been in since the end of prohibition. Seventeen states exercise monopoly control over at least some sorts of alcohol.

    Take it from me, Pennsylvanians, they never get out of the liquor business. Ever.

    1. Privitization isnt the problem, its the gawdawful tax rate.

      1. WA’s tax rate is nearly $30/gallon above the median (NJ). That is freaking insane.

      2. Look at the first comment on the article. At least one person got it.

    2. “Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf (D) signed legislation this week that will PERMIT, among other things, grocery stores that sell beer to sell wine as well.”

      “The new legislation will go into effect in 60 days, and will also PERMIT restaurants and hotels to sell up to four bottles of wine to-go, PERMIT Pennsylvania residents to have wine shipped directly to their homes, PERMIT gas stations to sell six-packs,…”

      It’s as if we don’t have any rights until the government passes a law gives them to us. PERMIT? Oh, thank you gov’nor, for letting me buy alcohol. How can I ever thank you?

  10. I wonder if the state will do ads for its liquor stores the way it does for its lotteries?

    WOMAN: “What makes that guy over there so confident and sexy?”

    OTHER WOMAN: “It’s the Jim Beam, and it’s only available in the state liquor store. And the proceeds go to benefit education.”

    FIRST WOMAN: “So he likes children? I’m interested!”

    RAPID VOICEOVER: “Odds of scoring are one in 100,000. Al-Anon hotline 1-800-DRUNKARD. Paid for by the state Department of Liquor and Stuff.”

  11. “Regulate it like alcohol” -idiots, as proven in this article

      1. Still better than the black market.

        1. Wainwright found that in Colorado, about 70 percent of marijuana sales are licensed, while in Washington, it’s about 30 percent:

          Colorado has set its pot taxes fairly low, at 28% (including an existing sales tax). It has also taken a relaxed approach to licensing sellers; marijuana dispensaries outnumber Starbucks. Washington initially set its taxes higher, at an effective rate of 44%, and was much more conservative with licences for growers and vendors. That meant that when its legalisation effort got under way in 2014, the average retail price was about $25 per gram, compared with Colorado’s $15. The price of black-market weed (mostly an inferior product) in both states was around $10.

    1. Yep, marginal improvements are for suckers. I’ll just stick to calling everyone a fag until they build libertopia for me.

      1. “You had your legalization, you libertardian zealots! What more do you want?” -predictable response to any attempt to “improve” any farther, which will somehow completely gobsmack you.

  12. Libertarian moment, bitches.

    SAN FRANCISCO (AP) ? In a victory for gun control advocates, a federal appeals court said Thursday people do not have a right to carry concealed weapons in public under the 2nd Amendment.

    An 11-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said law enforcement officials can require applicants for a concealed weapons permit to show they are in immediate danger or have another good reason for a permit beyond self-defense.

    The decision overturned a 2014 ruling by a smaller 9th Circuit panel and came in a lawsuit over the denial of concealed weapons permits by a sheriff in San Diego County.

    1. Does this mean Supreme Court Showdown?

      And will it be in the next session?…

    2. Who cares about Supreme Court precedent? Eventually, those icky gun-rights cases will be overturned by a progressive majority, anyway.

      1. Yeah, precedents are only binding if they’re progressive precedents. Conservative precedents are all the moral equivalent of Plessy v. Ferguson and should be overruled as soon as possible.

      2. There was an article a while back about a libertarian leaning judge who would always write how they disagree with x precedent, but enforce it anyway. Her progressive counterparts are just laughing at her for being such a chump.

        1. That sounds interesting – is there a link?

    3. I guess we now know what part of “shall not be infringed” they don’t understand.

    4. The Ninth begging for another bitch-slapping; one of the few times you get the Supreme Court to be unanimous.

  13. As long as you can’t roll down to Kroger on Sunday and pick up the demon rum.

    1. Heck, there should be vending machines on the sidewalk in front of the Baptist church, where kids can buy Mad Dog and Stolichnaya.

      1. When I was in Japan about 20 years ago, you could buy sake from sidewalk vending machines.

  14. I guess there are reasons people are still moving to Florida. The 1.75 L of Sapphire gin for which I pay $33 + tax was about $48 in NY, KY, and NH.

  15. “61 percent of Pennsylvania residents supported ending government sale and distribution of alcohol in a 2013 poll.”

    Only 61%?!?!? Do people in PA never travel out of state to see how civilized people live?

  16. Things’is about to get all higgeldy-piggeldy in PA.

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