Saloom, noting that the committee debate yesterday was lengthy, said he expected changes in Casey's liquor-enforcement proposal, but no successful attempts to expand wine sales or shift them to the private sector.
"I don't think there's enough votes in the House to put wine coolers in any retailers other than liquor stores," Saloom said.
In the past, Republicans have tried unsuccessfully to allow beer distributors to sell wine coolers, an increasingly popular product that is sold only in state liquor stores.
The General Assembly must pass legislation to re-establish the state liquor system by June 30 or no one in Pennsylvania will have the authority to buy or sell liquor.
Lawmakers failed to extend the life of the current governing agency, the state Liquor Control Board, before the end of last year's legislative session. Under the state Sunset Review Act, the agency goes out of business June 30.
Casey's plan, which also changes the name of the LCB to the Alcoholic Beverages Commission, was tabled by the House liquor committee on April 7
because it contained no information about cost.
A House Appropriations Committee fiscal analysis released by Saloom yesterday showed Casey's plan would have a one-time cost of $515,000, in addition to an annual cost of $1.6 million beyond current costs. Licensing and enforcement now costs the LCB about $16 million a year, according to spokesman Robert D. Ford.
During its 2 1/2-hour meeting yesterday, the House committee turned down several proposed changes to the Casey plan, including one to keep enforcement under the auspices of the LCB, while creating separate enforcement and licensing divisions.
Also defeated were amendments designed to make the agency's chief counsel and deputy counsel adhere to the state Ethics Act, as well as a proposal that would permit only two members of one political party to serve on the three- member ABC.
Rep. Joseph M. Gladeck Jr. (R., Montgomery), a critic of the current system and of Casey's plan, said he would continue to push for privatization of the state liquor system by offering amendments on the House floor.
"I will offer a total divestment amendment . . . although I don't expect it to be adopted," he said.
Gladeck said other options he expected to pursue are setting up private wine shops and giving beer distributors authority to sell wine coolers,
neither of which he is confident will pass the Democratic-controlled House.
He said reforms would probably come in the Republican-controlled Senate.
"The Senate is everything," Gladeck said. "They have the numbers to do what they want."
Sen. John Stauffer (R., Chester-Montgomery), the Senate majority leader, said yesterday that he was unhappy with Casey's proposal, particularly the failure to expand the sale of wine and wine coolers.
"I certainly hope and expect there will be further negotiations," Stauffer said. "There's nothing in the bill on marketing."
Asked if the Senate would hold up the bill on the wine or wine cooler issue, Stauffer replied, "I'm not going to be that explicit at this point. We have to see what happens over there" in the House.