Selling PA liquor stores makes sense

If you are like me and love to entertain friends and family, picking out the right beverages is part of creating a delicious meal. The warmth of Valentine’s Day called for a juicy New York strip paired with a bold merlot.

But the ultimate food and beverage pairing is a much simpler concept: being able to buy food, beer and wine in the same place.

You already know how complicated Pennsylvania’s absurd liquor laws are. We have to make three separate stops for food, beer, and wine. Does it stop there? No; even the quantities have their own rules. We have to go to one place for a six-pack, another for a case of beer, and yet another for a bottle of wine or liquor. This isn’t just inconvenient; it doesn’t make any sense.

In fact, Pennsylvania’s system is so outdated that we’re one of only two states (Utah being the other) that hasn’t reformed our liquor laws. 48 other states have beaten us to the punch to make beer and wine available in the same places consumers buy their ingredients for dinner.

What are we waiting for?

Increasing consumer convenience is exactly what Governor Corbett’s plan does and is why I urge you to support getting Pennsylvania out of the business of selling wine, beer and liquor. Pennsylvania’s current state-owned system is a relic of the Prohibition-era that loses money every year and forces consumers to crisscross their towns to get the products that nearly every other American enjoys in one place.

The Governor’s plan is straightforward: beer and wine in grocery stores. Consumers won’t have to drive to two different stores to get beer of varying quantities One-stop-shopping for beer, wine and liquor. This just makes sense. If you don’t believe me, talk to the residents of the 48 other states that already enjoy this convenience and try to explain Pennsylvania’s nonsensical system to them.

If the added convenience wasn’t enough, the best part about Governor Corbett’s plan is that he wants to direct the proceeds of selling the state’s liquor stores to public education. Selling the state system will generate nearly $1 billion in additional revenue that the Governor plans to direct to grants toward science and math programs, early learning, and school safety.

Join me in supporting Governor Tom Corbett’s plan to increase convenience and choice for Pennsylvania’s consumers, and let’s give more money to educate our kids and keep them safe. Whether it’s easing preparations during a special occasion like Valentine’s Day or just enjoying the convenience of grabbing a six-pack at the grocery store while heading home from work, Governor Corbett’s plan just makes sense.

If you support the Governor now, next year we will be able to spend less time driving to different stores, and more time picking out the products we want. Better yet, we’ll be able to spend more time with our loved ones.

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Joyce Haas, of State College, is the Vice-Chairman of the Republican Party of Pennsylvania.