A key legislative panel has approved an amended version of Governor Corbett's liquor privatization bill.
The House Liquor Control Committee approved the amended version of Governor Corbett's bill, which deals with how licenses would be handed out.
Corbett's people say it's time Pennsylvania follow the lead of 48 other states and get out of the liquor business.
The 14-10 vote pushes the changed legislation proposal through to the full House Senate.
Governor Corbett's staff say getting the state out of the liquor business is crucial.
“To give Pennsylvania that choice, get out of the liquor business and take money and put toward education, because education is the core function of government. Alcohol is not,” stated the Governor’s Spokesperson, Kevin Harley.
The new version gives beer distributors the first shot at 1200 liquor and wine sales licenses.
600 state stores would gradually shut down, and once there are fewer than 100 they would all close.
The bill would also create a wine and beer license for grocery stores.
Those against the bill say it's happening too fast.
“Again we have Corbett style politics, instead of transparency and openness you see exact opposite,” stated Wendell Young. “It's going to cost thousands of jobs and revenue we are going to fight as much as possible in the days ahead.”
The long-term money the state was used to getting from liquor sales won't be replenished.
“So what's going to happen ten to twelve years from now come to taxpayers to say we need 3, 4, 500 million from all of you we want you to write checks to the schools, bridges,” added Young.
Minority Democrats tried unsuccessfully for additional hearings before any committee vote. A full vote could come as early as Thursday