As Committee Vote Nears, Lt. Governor Cawley Promotes Privatizing Alcohol Sales at Giant Food Store near Harrisburg

Mar 12, 2013, 11:18 ET from Pennsylvania Office of the Lieutenant Governor

HARRISBURG, Pa., March 12, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- With legislative action scheduled for next week, Lt. Governor Jim Cawley today stopped by the Giant Food Store in suburban Harrisburg to say the time has come to get government out of the business of selling alcohol.

The store is one of seven Giant Food Stores in Pennsylvania that sells beer for takeout or on-site consumption at the in-store beer garden.  Giant also sells beer in its stores in Maryland and Virginia. 

"It is time for folks across Pennsylvania to be able to enjoy the same convenience and selection as virtually every other American has today.  The private sector can do it better and Giant Food Stores is showing us the way," Cawley said.

Pennsylvania and Utah are the only two states in the nation that continue to run a monopoly on alcohol sales since Prohibition was repealed in 1933.

Under the governor's privatization proposal:

  • Convenience stores could sell beer by the six-pack; 
  • Grocery stores and pharmacies could sell up to a 12-pack of beer and up to six bottles of wine;
  • Major retailers, like Target, Wal-Mart and Costco, could sell beer by the case and up to six bottles of wine.

Beer distributors would no longer be limited to selling beer by the case and could also sell wine and spirits, making them a one-stop-shop for all alcohol. 

"With greater convenience, there comes a need for greater enforcement.  The governor's plan calls for tougher penalties and requiring ID monitoring devices like the kind Giant uses already," Cawley said.

The House Liquor Control Committee is scheduled to consider the legislation at its meeting at the capitol on Monday.

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Media Contact: Chad Saylor, 717-787-3300

SOURCE Pennsylvania Office of the Lieutenant Governor