o HB 260 (Rep. John Taylor, R-Philadelphia): Allows the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board to implement customer relations marketing programs to offer incentives to customers, extends the Sunday closing time from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., removes the limit on the number of stores allowed to operate on Sundays, increases the range of fines for minor violations of the Liquor Code from between $50-$1,000 to between $100-$2,000, and increases the range of fines for major violations of the Liquor Code from between $1,000-$5,000 to between $2,000-$10,000.Let me translate that for you. HB 260 will let the PLCB offer coupons and 'membership' programs, open all their stores till 9 PM on Sundays, and dump more money into the PLCB's budget through fines (fines that are, I'd remind you, imposed by what amounts to an independent system of courts and police). HB 1356 will allow the PLCB to become a total patronage pesthole, hiring whoever they see fit -- under the guise of hiring wine and spirits "experts," experts along the line of Joe Da CEO, I assume -- and buying whatever they want -- more kiosks? more crap vodka brands? more 7' tall bumblebee costumes? -- without any oversight.
o HB 1356 (Rep. Scott Petri, R-Bucks): Allows the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (PLCB) to hire employees outside of the Civil Service Act, allows the PLCB to establish a classification and compensation for these employees that shall not be subject to the Administrative Code, and allows the PLCB to purchase all goods and services deemed necessary at its sole discretion.
I can make it simpler: the Republicans in the Legislature are lining up to give the PLCB bureaucrats everything they asked for to stave off privatization. Why? Cui bono might be a better question. Who got to these guys? Why are they not listening to the voters and citizens of Pennsylvania, who have been consistently polling at over 2/3 in favor of flat-out privatization?
Do you give a damn about privatization? Write your legislator, ask them why they're preparing to ignore the will of the people on this. If privatization goes away this time, it's going to be 20 years before we get another shot at it.