Although Wolfe is expected to veto, the cocktail measures are still making progress in Pennsylvania
On Wednesday, a Pennsylvania bill to legalize takeaway mixed drinks took another step forward, but don’t expect takeaway cocktails to come back soon.
The Pennsylvania State Senate passed legislation permanently allowing restaurants, bars, and hotels to provide takeaway alcoholic beverages. But the 11th hour amendment added to the bill by the Senate Republican Committee on Tuesday prompted Senate Democrats and Governor Tom Wolf to withdraw support for the measure.
Cocktail sales Approved in Pennsylvania last May As part of an effort to help bars, restaurants and hotels struggling during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Any institution whose average monthly sales fell by 25% during the public health crisis can sell takeaway mixed drinks. Beverages must be sold in containers with safety lids before 11pm. The beverage volume must be between 4-64 ounces.
Whenever the COVID-19 disaster emergency in Pennsylvania is lifted, this measure will fail. This is the first time that the state allows take-out cocktails.
A kind Bill to make this practice permanent Pennsylvania presented it at the conference in April. The measure was passed with overwhelming bipartisan support in the House of Representatives in May and was sent to the Senate for deliberation.
But after voters voted, the future of Pennsylvania’s cocktail became uncertain Support a Republican-led vote measure to limit Wolf’s emergency powers In the primary election last month.Both houses of the Republican-controlled Congress quickly voted to pass a measure Ending the Governor’s COVID-19 Disaster Statement.
After the PLCB notified licensees that the pandemic must end immediately, the certification of the Pennsylvania primary results officially ended the sale of takeaway cocktails and expanded outdoor catering services on Tuesday.
At the same time, when Republicans on the Law and Judiciary Committee added an amendment on Tuesday to allow grocery stores, beer distributors, convenience stores, and bars to pass in the Senate, the re-implementation of the legislation for take-away cocktails and the expansion of outdoor services appears to be in progress. by. Sell ??pre-canned alcoholic beverages.
The amendment also allows companies with alcohol licenses to sell up to 192 ounces of ready-to-drink products for off-site consumption, and there are no restrictions on distributors who sell these beverages. PennLive.com.
These types of beverages are currently only available in Pennsylvania through Fine Wine and Good Spirits stores operated by the state.
Grocery stores and convenience stores can sell wine-based ready-to-drink products in limited quantities, as well as malt and brewed beverage-based ready-to-drink products. Beer distributors are limited to selling ready-to-drink products based on malt and brewed beverages for off-site consumption.
The revised bill was passed by the committee with a narrow margin on Tuesday and sent back to the Senate plenary meeting for the third review. The Law and Judiciary Committee is the starting point for all alcohol bills in the Senate.
Wolf Said on Tuesday He will sign the bill in its original form and call on the Senate to pass the legislation cleanly without any changes.
During the pandemic, takeaway cocktails are the lifeblood of bars and restaurants.
Pennsylvanians have regarded this service as a convenience facility in our Confederation, and I support making it permanent. https://t.co/0Co4ZFnpxv
-Governor Tom Wolf (@GovernorTomWolf) June 15, 2021
The bill was submitted to the Senate Appropriations Committee on Wednesday, where it was approved on a partisan line and re-reported to the whole house for a final vote.
During the long debate on the bill on Wednesday, Democrats expressed their opposition to the amendment. Democratic lawmakers believe that this will lead to the privatization of wine and spirits in Pennsylvania and weaken PLCB’s ability to fund the state budget.
Republican senators expressed their support for the revised legislation on the grounds that it will bring tax benefits to the state.
After the Senate has narrowly passed the partisan line, the amended bill will go to the Republican-controlled House of Representatives for a final vote before being sent to Wolfe’s desk. It is expected that there will be a veto. It is not clear when the House of Representatives will take the revised measures.
The bill requires the support of two-thirds of the two legislatures to overturn the veto. However, after the Senate passed the measure by two votes, it seems unlikely to be overthrown.