Conti has an interest in maintaining the status quo:
He's the LCB's chief executive officer and could be out of a job if Turzai has his way.
Testifying yesterday before the House Liquor Control Committee, Conti predicted that switching to a free-market system with a new tax structure would lead to higher prices and limited availability in some parts of the state.
"Can a deregulation proposal that raises a box of wine from $12.49 to $25.38 really be taken seriously?" Conti asked, referring to an LCB study showing that a 5-liter box of Franzia Blush wine would increase by that amount.
Turzai spokesman Steve Miskin said that busting the government's booze monopoly would force the new license-holders - including supermarkets, large retailers and wine boutiques - to keep their prices competitive with each other and outlets over the state border.
"It's ludicrous to say prices are going to go through the roof," Miskin said.
"They're going to want people to come to their shop."
Turzai's bill would double the number of locations where wine and liquor could be bought.
But Conti said that's not necessarily a good thing.
"To us, convenience does not equal a store on every corner, since, as I believe we can all agree, too many outlets selling alcohol can lead to problems within the community," he said.