Rep. John Lawrence (R-Chester) issued the following statement regarding Senate Bill 100, state liquor store legislation introduced last week by Sen. Charles McIlhinney (R-Bucks), chairman of the Senate Law and Justice Committee:

"I sincerely appreciate the hard work put in over the past months by all of the stakeholders in the debate over liquor privatization.  Upon review of the plan released by the Senate today, the inclusion of property tax relief was a welcome addition that I certainly support.

"However, I am disappointed that the Senate proposal does not get the state completely out of retailing alcohol and keeps the state store system intact for an undetermined period of time.  In addition, the Senate plans keeps the state in the wholesale distribution of alcohol, which clearly is not a core function of government.

"The overwhelming majority of my constituents want the state 100 percent out of the liquor business, and the Senate proposal does not accomplish this.  Instead, the Senate proposal pits the private sector in competition against the state store system, which makes no sense at all. 

"As negotiations continue between the House and the Senate, I will continue to strongly support legislation that improves convenience for consumers, gets the state out of the alcohol business, respects current beer license holders, and is revenue neutral or positive for the state."

Lawrence is a member of the House Liquor Control Committee.