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State Senate Leader: If Pa. Liquor Stores Aren't Privatized, They Should Be Modernized

By Tony Romeo

HARRISBURG, Pa. (CBS) - As the state House prepares to take up liquor privatization, the top Republican in the Senate says he remains concerned that the issue of modernizing liquor sales doesn't get lost in the process.

The state House is expected to consider a plan to privatize liquor sales in June. Last July, the top Republican in the GOP-controlled Senate, President Pro-Tem Joe Scarnati, said he thought the better strategy was to modernize the state store system first, to get maximum value.

Almost a year later, Scarnati says, while he's open to privatization, if that can't get done, legislation to modernize should get to the governor's desk this year.

"I don't know what the end result's going to look like. And that's why I keep saying we need to put both on track. That if we don't come to an agreement, we at least have modernization done while we continue to work through this process."

Scarnati also says he remains concerned about how privatization will affect pricing, accessibility and selection in rural areas of the state.

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