May. 10, 2019
To give voters more say in their community and to close a loophole in the updated liquor laws, the House approved on Wednesday Rep. Jesse Topper’s (R-Bedford/Franklin/Fulton) House Bill 423
to allow for ballot referendums to authorize “dry” municipalities to issue special liquor licenses to manufacturers.
As part of recently passed updates to our liquor laws is a provision that allows exemptions in local communities to authorize specific licenses in what are known as dry townships.
“After seeing an increase of establishments operating in dry municipalities through this loophole, I authored legislation to create a ballot initiative for such municipalities to explicitly opt-in or opt-out of allowing on-premise sales for manufacturers,” Topper said.
About 25% of the state’s municipalities have chosen to ban the sale of alcohol in one form or another. The all-or-nothing question voters must answer doesn’t fit for all dry municipalities. Topper’s legislation would create a referendum to give voters the choice to allow their municipality to stay completely dry, allow limited sales or convert to wet.
The bill now goes to the Senate for consideration.
Representative Jesse Topper
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Greg Gross