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Tobash Votes in Favor of Phasing Out Sale of Wine and Liquor in Pennsylvania

HARRISBURG – Earlier today, the Pennsylvania House of Representatives voted in favor of House Bill 790, a bill aimed at phasing the state out of the wine and spirits business and improving consumer convenience by allowing people to purchase the products they want at more locations. Rep. Mike Tobash (R-Berks/Schuylkill) made the following statement after the vote:

“Pennsylvania citizens have made it loud and clear that they do not believe the state should be in the liquor business. It’s difficult to argue that an organization that both sells and controls its product doesn’t have a conflict of interest. It’s evident that our efforts to move forward with this initiative are in line with what the people of the Commonwealth believe we should be doing.

“Currently, Pennsylvania and Utah are the only two states that have complete control over wholesale and retail operations.  This bill provides an opportunity for our state to move into the 21st century by allowing the private sector to sell wine and spirits.

“Throughout this process, I have done my best to enhance opportunities for small businesses by offering an amendment aimed at bettering local, family-owned distributors in our district and throughout Pennsylvania. To strengthen House Bill 790, my amendment prohibits restaurant licensees with an interior connection to an unlicensed business from obtaining wine-to-go permits. This was important to ensure that restaurant licenses are utilized by the eating establishments for which they were created.

“This bill provides a host of opportunities for Pennsylvania’s local family-owned beer distributors, as they will get first dibs on getting the new wine and spirits licenses, and at a 75 percent discount. Under this bill, beer distributors would also have the advantage of being the only facility in the state to be able to provide consumers with wine, spirits and beer all in one location.”

House Bill 790 has been sent to the Senate for consideration. More information, including details about license costs and availability, is available online at

Representative Mike Tobash
125th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Krisinda Corbin
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