Pa. senators hear criticism of liquor bills

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HARRISBURG (AP) – A state Senate committee’s first hearing on Gov. Tom Corbett’s effort to liberalize Pennsylvania’s beer, wine and liquor laws featured broad criticism of the proposal.

One witness, David Bender of Compass Mark in Lancaster, told state senators Tuesday that Pennsylvania has many more important issues to address than making it more convenient to buy a bottle of vodka.

Bender says bills before the Legislature are money losers for taxpayers if control of wine and liquor sales shifts from state government to private store operators.

A bill that passed the House in March would allow 1,200 private wine and liquor store licenses, but it has little support in the Senate.

He also says liberalizing alcohol sales will increase consumption. Corbett administration officials and other privatization proponents weren’t asked to testify.

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