Pennsylvania lawmakers and Gov. Tom Wolf took steps this year to modernize the commonwealth’s liquor system, but work remains. State Rep. Mike Reese, R-Westmoreland, recently introduced legislation, House Bill 2357, which will help expand consumer access and protect jobs.
Reese would create a “spirit expanded permit,” which would allow restaurants, taverns, grocery stores and hotels to sell up to 3 liters of spirits for carryout. This is important because consumers want to make one stop when shopping for beer, wine and spirits. Right now, many have to go to three different locations to purchase what they need.
Not only will Reese’s legislation provide the convenience consumers demand, but it also will protect countless jobs created by Pennsylvania distilleries. The commonwealth’s distilling industry is undergoing tremendous growth, but the current system puts it at a major disadvantage because sales are limited to state stores.
It’s time to support these Pennsylvania businesses and their employees. We look forward to working with Reese, the General Assembly and Wolf administration to pass this important legislation that will give the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board the tools it needs to serve the consumer by expanding outlets without additional costs.
David Wojnar, Washington D.C.
The writer is vice president of the Distilled Spirits Council.