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    Pa. Approves Sunday Liquor Sales

    Law allowing state-owned stores to sell beer and wine goes into effect in 60 days.

    HARRISBURG, Pa. -- Legislation signed by Gov. Mark Schweiker clears the way for the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (PLCB) to open its stores on Sundays for the first time in its 68-year history.

    The law, which takes effect in 60 days, authorizes the PLCB to open up to 10 percent of its 638 Wine & Spirits Shoppes on Sundays for a two-year period. During the pilot period, the PLCB is required to provide an annual report on total dollar value of Sunday sales to the legislative oversight committees as well as the appropriations committees in the House and Senate.

    After two years, the PLCB will evaluate the fiscal impact of Sunday sales to determine whether stores should be closed Sundays or whether additional stores should be opened.

    On February 9, the PLCB plans to commence Sunday sales at 60 locations, which were selected based on their sales volume, proximity to borders and regional demographics. The selected stores will be open between noon and 5 p.m. and must be closed on Easter and Christmas.

    "This is an historic moment for the sale of wine and spirits in Pennsylvania," said PLCB Chairman Jonathan Newman. "The board is dedicated to improving the convenience, service, and selection in its stores. By allowing Sunday sales, we will further enhance customer convenience while increasing revenue to the commonwealth."

    The legislation also allows the PLCB to ancillary items, such as corkscrews and wine sleeves in its stores, and permits on-premises product tasting. "Shopping for wine in Pennsylvania is not what it used to be," Newman said. "We are enhancing our wine training program so consumers can sample their products and make informed decisions about their purchases."

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