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State Rep. Tim O’Neal Introduces bill to privatize liquor stores


In response to the governor’s shutdown of state liquor stores and “recent failures” by the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (PLCB) to adapt to a 21st century business model during the coronavirus pandemic, state Rep. Tim O’Neal (R-Washington) recently introduced legislation to end government control of wine and spirit sales.

“When Gov. Tom Wolf shutdown the liquor stores, he almost returned Pennsylvania to Prohibition and showed us why government should never be in control of alcohol sales,” O’Neal said. “Grocery stores and restaurants quickly and efficiently found ways to adapt to the pandemic while the PLCB, at Wolf’s direction, caused mass mayhem and turned Pennsylvanians into modern-day bootleggers.”

House Bill 2547 would close state stores, privatize the wholesale liquor system and create private outlets for liquor. It is similar to House Bill 466 of 2015, which was vetoed by the governor.

“Act 39 of 2016 proved private industry can responsibly sell wine,” O’Neal said. “I have no doubt liquor sales can be done in the same effective and efficient manner.”