Lt. Governor Cawley Touts Weis Markets as Proof that Liquor Privatization Can Work in Pennsylvania

Mar 05, 2013, 14:46 ET from Pennsylvania Office of the Lieutenant Governor

CLARKS SUMMIT, LACKAWANNA COUNTY, Pa., March 5, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Lt. Governor Jim Cawley today stopped by the Weis Markets in Clarks Summit to say the time has come to get government out of the business of selling alcohol and let the private sector provide greater convenience and selection for consumers.

The store, located north of Scranton, is one of 15 Weis Markets in Pennsylvania that sells beer for takeout or on-site consumption at the in-store cafe.  The company also sells beer in West Virginia and New York.

"It is time for folks across Pennsylvania to be able to enjoy the same convenience and selection as virtually every other American has today.  Weis Markets 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and Utah are the only two states in the nation that continue to run a monopoly on alcohol sales since Prohibition was repealed in 1933.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 Governor Tom Corbett'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 Weis Markets uses already," Cawley said.

Cawley noted that the Governor would also increase funding for liquor enforcement by 22% and for abuse treatment and prevention programs by 75%.

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Media Contact: Chad Saylor, 717-787-3300

SOURCE Pennsylvania Office of the Lieutenant Governor