HARRISBURG – Rep. Jeff Pyle (R-Armstrong/Butler/Indiana), majority chairman of the House Liquor Control Committee, and other members of the committee held a public hearing today to gather testimony on Rep. Jesse Topper’s (R-Bedford/Fulton/Franklin) proposal to repeal the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board’s (PLCB) flexible pricing ability.
Act 39 of 2016 altered the Commonwealth’s archaic liquor system and allowed the PLCB to institute flexible pricing. Prior of Act 39, the PLCB had to follow a strict pricing formula that required prices to be proportional. Under the proportional pricing formula, the PLCB was required to pass savings onto the consumer anytime suppliers discounted their prices. The board says flexible pricing allows it to more effectively negotiate with liquor suppliers and provides more revenue to the Commonwealth.
“Flexible pricing was to allow the PLCB to more effectively negotiate with liquor suppliers, and to provide more revenue to the Commonwealth, all while lowering the prices of some products for consumers. I have not been convinced this change has led to lower prices for consumers,” Topper said. “The aim of my bill is to fix this issue by repealing the flexible pricing provision and reinstitute consumer price protections. I commend the House Liquor Control Committee for recognizing this is an issue and for holding a public hearing on the matter.”
House Bill 1512
would repeal the flexible pricing provision of Act 39 of 2016.
“Both sides of the issue offered compelling arguments on the PLCB’s flexible pricing program,” said Pyle. “It is my job as chairman to give all bills that come through the committee a thorough vetting. We have scheduled a voting meeting for later this month where we may see what kind of support this proposal has.”
In addition to Topper, those who offered testimony were Tim Holden, chairman of the PLCB; Mike Negra, PLCB board member; Mary Isenhour, PLCB board member; David Wojnar, vice president of the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States; Matt Dogali, American Distilled Spirits Association; Terri Cofer Beirne, eastern states counsel for the Wine Institute; and CJ Hélie, executive vice president, Spirits Canada.
Representative Jeff Pyle
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Tracy Polovick