The state House of Representatives has begun final debate on a bill to take Pennsylvania out of the business of selling wine and liquor.
An amended version of House Bill 790 was reported out of the House Appropriations Committee in the morning.
A vote before the full House is expected late this afternoon or this evening. If approved, it would be the first time a liquor privatization plan has passed either chamber in the Pennsylvania legislature.
The bill would give beer distributors first shot at 1,200 licenses to sell wine and spirits. Unsold licenses would be sold to other businesses after a year.
Distributors would no longer have to sell beer by the case or keg, but could also sell any quantity of six-packs, 12-packs, and growlers.
Grocery and convenience stores would be allowed to sell up to 24 bottles of beer in six-packs and 12-packs if they have a restaurant license. Grocery stores could also be licensed to sell up to a case of wine, but buyers would not be permitted to use the self-checkout lanes.
The state-operated wine and spirit stores would be phased out as the number of private operations grows.