Senate Votes to Ease Wolf’s Arbitrary Restrictions on Restaurant Industry

HARRISBURG – The state Senate today approved legislation that would ease Governor Wolf’s arbitrary and burdensome restrictions on owners of bars and restaurants, according to Senator Ryan Aument (R-36), who supported the bill.

House Bill 2513 would set the minimum capacity for restaurants and taverns at 50 percent, with the ability for increased capacity if their premises allows.  The bill would also:

  • Remove the ban on bar service;
  • Eliminate the meal requirement to purchase alcohol; and
  • Allow for event venues to operate at a minimum of 50 percent capacity.

The restaurant industry is the second-largest private industry in the country, with over 500,000 employees in Pennsylvania alone. 

“Our restaurants and bars have been hit the hardest by Governor Wolf’s policies and many will not survive the year if his policies are not overturned,” said Aument.  “One restaurant official has predicted that 7,500 Pennsylvania restaurants could close permanently as a direct result of the Governor’s mitigation orders.

“I am confident that our businesses will continue to take all the necessary precautions to keep their employees and customers safe, but they need the opportunity to operate without burdensome and constantly evolving regulations.”

The Independent Fiscal Office has estimated that Pennsylvania’s foodservice industry has lost over 134,000 workers this year. Additionally, the House Majority Policy Committee recently received testimony that under these current restrictions, Pennsylvania can expect the permanent closing of 7,500 restaurants, resulting in the loss of 175,000 jobs.

The bill was amended in the Senate and now goes to the House for concurrence.

CONTACT:  Ryan Boop (717) 787-4420