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September 07, 2016

Delco lawmaker wants Pennsylvania beer distributors to sell wine

State senator says small businesses left out of liquor law reforms

A Delaware County lawmaker says recent changes to Pennsylvania's liquor laws leave out many of the industry's small businesses, and he's proposing a way to fix that.

State Sen. Tom Killion, a Republican, announced Tuesday the introduction of Senate Bill 1359, which would allow more than 1,200 state beer distributors to apply for licenses to sell wine.

Earlier this year, several changes were made to relax Pennsylvania's notoriously strict liquor code. Among the alterations was allowing some grocery stores to sell wine.

Previously, consumers could only buy wholesale wine at state-owned liquor stores.

Killion said Tuesday that while he welcomed updates to the "antiquated" laws, they didn't go far enough.

"Unfortunately, hundreds of Pennsylvania beer distributors and small business owners were left out of those reforms and now must operate in an even more competitive environment,” Killion said.

The Pennsylvania State Senate is set to return to Harrisburg for three session days starting Sept. 26.

Killion's bill has been referred to the Senate's Law and Justice Committee.