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Pennsylvania House Votes On Liquor Privatization Today

By Tony Romeo

HARRISBURG, Pa. (CBS) - The stage is set for a historic vote today in the Pennsylvania House on a bill that would phase out the state store system of selling wine and liquor. But even if the bill passes the House, it would still have to get through the Senate, where support is less certain.

In a move that surprised many observers, Democrats withdrew dozens of amendments, shortening what was expected to be a long debate Wednesday on proposed changes to the liquor bill. House Democrats did try and fail to pass an amendment that would modernize the sale of wine and spirits while preserving the state store system.

But Montgomery County House Republican Kate Harper dismissed the amendment to House Bill 790 as:

"Putting a new coat of paint on an old shed that's falling down."

Allegheny County Democrat William Kortz.

"I would like to follow that and say, well HB 790 is going to burn down the shed, and all the people that live in the shed currently, Mr. Speaker!"

Kortz referred to the state workers whose jobs would be eliminated. The bill would also allow wine to be sold in grocery stores.

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