Sunday, December 28, 2014

Into the breach (again) on booze

The PA Senate is again looking to move a booze reform bill. Sigh.

Into the breach (again) on booze

(A brief discussion twixt Baer and Baer's editor, a/k/a BE)

BE: I see our state Senate is once again poised to pull the trigger on reforming our archaic liquor system.

JB: Yawn.

BE: What? You think it's the same old shuffle? Offering consumers hope for change in an election year then producing nothing of substance.

JB: That's been the pattern.

BE: But the House just last year passed a bill to sell off the 600 state wine and liquor stores to make a huge profit and ease annual budget woes.

JB: And the Senate said no sale.

BE: Ah, but now the Senate says let's allow beer sales in grocery stores, let beer distributors sell wine, keep all stores open on Sundays and some holidays and let consumers get wines shipped right to the homes. It's a pretty sweet package.

JB: It's a fundraiser in an election year. Everybody who stands to make more money on such changes is being hit up for campaign contributions on the promise of action on the same old ideas that never go anywhere.

BE: Have you no faith that our legislative process seeks to serve the people of Pennsylvania in a fair and efficient manner?

JB: No.

BE: I suppose you think that rather than restart a time-consuming battle of chambers right before the June 30 budget deadline our elected leaders should be focused on actual problems such as pension reform and saving suffering school districts like Philadelphia's?

JB: I do.

BE: Well, then you're both a cynic and a dreamer.

JB: I'll drink to that.





John Baer Daily News Political Columnist
About this blog
John Baer has been covering politics and government for the Daily News since 1987. The National Journal in 2002 called Baer one of the country's top 10 political journalists outside Washington, saying Baer has, "the ability to take the skin off a politician without making it hurt too much." E-mail John at

John is the author of the book "On The Front Lines of Pennsylvania Politics: Twenty-Five Years of Keystone Reporting" (The History Press, 2012). Reach John at

John Baer Daily News Political Columnist
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