House budget hearings conclude
As a member of the House Appropriations Committee, I participated in the final week of hearings at the State Capitol to review the governor’s proposed 2013-14 state budget.
Among the agencies and departments testifying were the State System of Higher Education, the Gaming Control Board, the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, the Department of Health, the Department of Public Welfare and Secretary of the Budget Charles Zogby.
On the final day of budget hearings, House members were given the opportunity to testify about their budget priorities and goals for the coming fiscal year.
Lawmakers aim to enact a fiscally responsible, on-time budget for the third consecutive year. The budget deadline is June 30.
Bills introduced to privatize PA liquor sales
Legislation has once again been introduced in the House to privatize the sale of wine and spirits in Pennsylvania.
House Bill 790 would call on the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board to begin issuing liquor licenses to grocery stores, convenience stores, pharmacies and big box stores in an effort to bring about greater consumer convenience and choice.
The bill would charge the Department of General Services to oversee the retail and wholesale license distributions to establishments throughout the Commonwealth, ensuring that every county does not receive fewer licenses than the number of existing state stores.
In addition, this bill, which I have co-sponsored, would create a Transition Assistance Committee to help displaced state store employees in their search for new employment and also would increase the Pennsylvania State Police Bureau of Liquor Control Enforcement’s yearly budget by $5 million.
As a member of the House Liquor Control Committee, I have also once again introduced Common Sense Liquor Privatization Legislation (House Bill 867) based on the following objectives that were raised in debate during the previous legislative session:
- Consumer and Public Protection
- Consumer Choice
- Job Creation
- Job Protection
- Taxpayer Protection
Pennsylvania remains only one of two states to maintain complete control over the sale of wine and spirits. For the latest updates, visit my website.