By a party-line vote, a bill that would end the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board’s ability to set prices based on its own passed a state House committee Thursday.
House Bill 1512, sponsored by state Rep. Jesse Topper, R-Bedford, now proceeds to the House floor after a 15-10 vote in the House Liquor Control Committee.
Topper’s bill comes three years after the lawmakers and the Wolf Administration approved a plan to allow the board, which operates packaged liquor stores in the state, to set its own prices for wines, whiskeys and other spirits. Prior to that, the PLCB could only markup prices by a set percentage across the board.
The new pricing structure has allowed the PLCB to generate a significant amount of new revenue for the state’s general fund while working to lower some prices. However, some critics have questioned whether consumers are being unfairly taxed by a non-elected board that has a monopoly on many alcoholic products.