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PA happy hour changes pass House, Senate

June 23, 2011

Extending the allowed daily happy hour period for businesses in Pennsylvania to four hours and other liquor code changes have been ratified by both state chambers and were sent to Gov. Tom Corbett for his signature.

The changes were part of a larger effort by leaders in both chambers to agree on and ratify a series of bills sent to the Senate, said Rep. John Payne, R-Dauphin County.

House Bill 148, which proposed the liquor code changes, was introduced this year by Payne and passed the House in May.

As originally written, it would have allowed bars and restaurants more leeway in using up to 14 hours per week of drink-discount time known as happy hours.

It also would have allowed customers to carry out up to three unopened bottles of wine from a restaurant and let the holders of restaurant and catering liquor licenses supply and serve alcohol offsite at certain venues and approved events, Payne said.

The offsite catering provision and the happy hour changes survived the original House approvals and final passage, although the maximum number of 14 hours allowed in a single day was set at four, Payne said. Under current law, only two hours are allowed daily.

The carryout wine provision was killed outright, he said.

From Central Penn Business Journal

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