Public record or trade secret? Battle over number of liquor licenses could go to Pa. high court

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By: Julia Shanahan

HARRISBURG — What began as a simple request for information about liquor licenses in Pennsylvania has turned into a protracted court battle pitting the public’s right to government records against the state-run liquor board’s ability to make money.

The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board has twice been ordered to turn over information about how many licenses are eligible to be auctioned off in each county, most recently by the Commonwealth Court. But the agency is now appealing those decisions, asking the state’s highest court to intervene to protect information that it believes amounts to a trade secret.

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