Newly elected legislators sworn in
All newly elected legislators have been sworn into office—officially marking the beginning of the new two-year session. The Senate is comprised of 34 Republicans and 16 Democrats, while the House returned with 121 Republicans and 82 Democrats. In response to the large Republican majorities following the election, the Governor has said he will not include a tax increase in his budget proposal this year.
Act 166 to take effect January 17
Act 166, which was passed at the end of last year’s session, will take effect January 17. As a reminder, the legislation contains the following key provisions:
- Licensees will no longer need to label their tap handles.
- Licensees, except for Eating Place licensees, may sell alcohol beginning at 9 a.m. on Sunday and no longer need to meet the meal requirement.
- Breweries, wineries, and distilleries that sell other Pennsylvania-produced products cannot have sales of other products that exceed more than 50 percent of the sales of their own products.
- Beer distributors may sell malt and brewed beverages in any package configuration.
- Licensees that have a “mug club” no longer must provide a mug to each individual member.
- Allows mead to be distributed by malt and brewed beverage wholesalers.
PLCB opens second dead license auction
The PLCB issued an invitation to bid for 50 expired Restaurant licenses in 48 counties. The minimum bid for each license is $25,000 and bids are due by noon on Friday, March 3. The winners will be announced the week of March 6. Licenses are available in the following counties:
- One license in each of these 46 counties: Armstrong, Beaver, Bedford, Berks, Bradford, Cambria, Carbon, Chester, Clarion, Clearfield, Clinton, Columbia, Crawford, Dauphin, Elk, Fayette, Franklin, Greene, Huntingdon, Jefferson, Lackawanna, Lancaster, Lawrence, Lebanon, Lehigh, Luzerne, Lycoming, McKean, Mercer, Mifflin, Monroe, Montgomery, Montour, Northampton, Northumberland, Pike, Potter, Schuylkill, Snyder, Sullivan, Susquehanna, Venango, Warren, Wayne, Wyoming, and York counties.
- Two licenses in each Philadelphia and Allegheny counties.
Senate & House announce committee chairs
The Senate and House have announced committee chairs for the 2017/18 session. Full committee member assignments are expected to be announced shortly. The following senators are chairing PRLA’s key committees:
Senate Law & Justice: Sen. Chuck McIlhinney (R—Bucks), Sen. Jim Brewster (D—Allegheny)
Senate Community, Economic & Recreational Development: Sen. Mario Scavello (R—Monroe), Sen. Larry Farnese (D—Philadelphia)
Senate Labor & Industry: Sen. Kim Ward (R—Westmoreland), Sen. Christine Tartaglione (D—Philadelphia)
House Liquor Control: Rep. Adam Harris (R—Juniata), Rep. Paul Costa (D—Allegheny)
House Tourism & Recreational Development: Rep. David Millard (R—Columbia), Rep. Mark Longietti (D—Mercer)
House Labor & Industry: Rep. Rob Kauffman (R—Franklin), Rep. John Galloway (D—Bucks)
RAMP Certification under Act 39
If you do not hold a wine expanded permit, as a reminder, beginning August 8, 2016, all newly hired alcohol service personnel in a licensed establishment must be RAMP certified within 6 months of being hired. If you hired any alcohol service employees on August 8, they must be certified by February 8, 2017. Any alcohol service employees that were hired before August 8, 2016, do not need to be RAMP certified. Alcohol service employee is defined as “any employee of a licensee such as a bartender, waiter or, in the case of a distributor or importing distributor, a salesperson whose primary responsibility includes the resale, furnishing or serving of liquor or malt or brewed beverages. It also means any employee, such as a door person, whose primary responsibility is to ascertain the age of individuals who are attempting to enter the licensed premises.”