The chairman of a key Pennsylvania Senate panel isn't worried about whether he can find consensus on liquor privatization before July.

 

Sen. Chuck McIlhinney, R-Bucks, has presided over the second of a trio of hearing on the issue. He says liquor privatization isn't really a budget issue, and he's not going to try to draft a measure and pass it out of committee just because the governor says so.

"At this point, I'm still going to try to put it together in June, but if it doesn't, nothing would stop us from coming up with it and bringing it up to a vote in the fall," he said. "We would have that session to do it as well."

The hearing took testimony from a number of sellers of alcohol, all of whom offered ways to tweak the state's liquor code to protect their corner of the industry or give them an opportunity to expand.

McIlhinney says what started as a push for liquor privatization has become a conversation about alcohol reform.

The third and final committee hearing on the topic will be in early June.