Sunday, July 5, 2015

More on those televised booze wars...

More on those televised booze wars...



This post was written by Pennsylvania Legislative Correspondents Association intern Megan Rogers.

Liquor privatization will increase drunk driving deaths, leaving more daughters without fathers on life's big days: the end of high school, the start of college and wedding day.  

That's what a new television ad (see it below) from the union that represents state liquor store employees is heavily implying.

The new 30-second ad, running on both radio and television, pictures a young girl placing a flower on her father's casket.

"Thanks to current laws and the effectiveness of the wine and spirit stores employees, Pennsylvania has the lowest death rate associated with alcohol consumption in the nation," says the voice-over.

The ad then encourages viewers to contact their representatives because "we don't want other children to lose their parents."

It doesn't stop there. The United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 1776 has a second television spot, this one calling Gov. Corbett's privatization proposal "radical," and contending that it will cost workers their jobs, as well as cost the state money and raise taxes.

Here is where the fight over privatization stands legislatively: the House of Representatives has passed a bill that would phase out most of the 600-plus State Stores, and allow the private sector to start selling wine and hard liquor.

That bill is now in the Senate, where Law and Justice committee chairman Chuck McIllhinney (R., Bucks) has said he plans to draft an entirely new proposal by mid-June. At that point, the two chambers and Corbett are widely expected to huddle behind closed doors to try and hammer out a compromise.

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Commonwealth Confidential gives you regularly updated coverage of the state legislature, the governor and the workings of the state bureaucracy. It is written by Angela Couloumbis in the Inquirer's Harrisburg bureau, based in the statehouse, and by the newspaper's far-flung campaign reporters.

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