The future of Pennsylvania’s liquor system is being debated as the state legislature deals with privatization proposals, but if anything changes, liquor code enforcement will likely need to be beefed up to keep pace with new demands.
State Representative Scott Petri (R-Bucks County) said, if consumers want access and convenience as far as alcohol is concerned, the cost of enforcement will likely go up as a result.
“I think the issue is, clearly if you’re going to have more licensees, you’re going to need more feet on the ground,” said Petri. “And that’s OK, but we have to take that into contemplation when we review the legislation.”
Pennsylvania State Police Commissioner Frank Noonan said his best guess would be an additional five million dollars to pay for new liquor enforcement officers.
He said the funding needed to beef up liquor code enforcement would have to come earlier rather than later in any process to change the liquor laws.
“I think especially at the start of the law it would be important that we’re able to get out there and make sure that everyone understands what the laws are and that we’re able to enforce them.”
He said the estimate is just conjecture at this point.
Legislation hasn’t yet been introduced to privatize the liquor system, but the plan offered by the Corbett administration and supported by the state House Majority Leader would roughly double the number of retailers selling wine and liquor.
An untold number of other beer and wine sales licenses would be sold to places like beer distributors, supermarkets, and convenience stores.