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Pa. senators get much to mull in alcohol debate

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) -- Pennsylvania Senators are getting a lot to consider during the third and final Senate committee hearing on proposals to liberalize the sale of beer, wine and liquor.

The Tuesday hearing is a prelude to a busy June as Gov. Tom Corbett presses lawmakers to pass legislation before July 1. But a bill that passed the House in March has little support in the Senate, and the issues seem endless.

Senators heard testimony on whether the state treasury would suffer if wine and liquor sales are privatized, whether prices would rise and whether wholesalers should control liquor brands in a private system.

The committee chairman, Sen. Charles McIlhinney, has said he favors allowing Pennsylvania's 12,000 private beer licensees to sell beer in a wider variety of quantities, plus wine and liquor.