HARRISBURG, June 18, 2013 – State Sen. Christine M. Tartaglione today released the following statement regarding Sen. McIlhinney’s liquor proposal:

“I am grateful to Sen. McIlhinney for taking the time and making the effort to listen to a broad range of opinions on the short-sighted House liquor privatization bill.  Unfortunately, the result appears to be a bill that tries to be everything to everybody, and in that attempt serves to only delay massive job losses and only temporarily slow down the big-box liquor frenzy the House bill would produce.

Over a slightly longer period of time, the result would be the same and Pennsylvania taxpayers wouldn’t even see the overstated revenue in the House plan. In a few years, beer distributors, small grocers, locally owned convenience stores and specialty wine shops will have gone the way of the stationary store and the corner hardware store: replaced by large corporations with no community connection and responsible only to shareholders.

It was a terrible thing when this happened to small Pennsylvania retailers selling paper clips or hand tools.  But when the sale of a commodity as dangerous as liquor is turned over to large corporations, a minimum-wage workforce and a profit-over-all philosophy, the result will be worse than just the loss of local businesses.

With a stubbornly high unemployment rate, schools laying off thousands of employees, and the nation’s largest inventory of unsafe bridges, it’s hard to imagine that making liquor easier to buy is a priority.

The Senate should consider a streamlined modernization plan and get back to the real job of putting Pennsylvanians back to work rebuilding our long-ignored infrastructure.”

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