How did Pa. get into booze business anyway? - abc27 WHTM

How did Pa. get into booze business anyway?

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While Governor Tom Corbett touts the possible convenience of privatizing liquor, decades ago another Pennsylvania governor was on a mission to make alcohol as difficult to buy as possible.

And that's when the state got into the booze business.

Gifford Pinchot, the commonwealth's 28th governor, wasn't a fan of drinking. His first term was during Prohibition, where he helped set up state regulations. His second term was years later after Prohibition was over.

His goal, after alcohol was made legal again, was to make buying booze tough in Pennsylvania.

"He was flat out quoted as saying he wanted to make it as difficult to buy liquor and alcohol as possible and to make it expensive," said Brandon Lenoir, a professor at Dickinson College in Carlisle.

So with the help of the legislature, Pinchot formed the Liquor Control Board and put the Pennsylvania Control State System into place.

Plenty has changed since then, but it's essentially the same framework. Things like two-stop shopping for beer and liquor are still a routine for Pennsylvanians.

The state system is something many at the Capitol are hoping to change.

While Pinchot may not be beloved by drinkers, he was the first chief of the United States Forest Service. He is often remembered as the father of American conservation.

Last week, the state House of Representatives passed a bill privatizing the state's liquor system.  The bill now moves to the state Senate.

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