The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

April 30, 2013

State senators hear criticism of liquor reform bills

The Associated Press

HARRISBURG — The director of a nonprofit organization that fights substance abuse is broadly criticizing efforts in Harrisburg to liberalize Pennsylvania's beer, wine and liquor laws.

David Bender of Compass Mark in Lancaster told state senators during a hearing today that Pennsylvania has many more important issues to deal with than how convenient or inconvenient it is 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.

He also says liberalizing alcohol sales will increase consumption, although he says he wouldn't expect a dramatic overnight increase. He credits the existing system of wine and liquor sales with giving Pennsylvania the nation's lowest rate of alcohol-induced deaths.