Yaw, Everett Applaud House Passage of Bills to Allow Restaurants Freedom to Creatively Reopen in ‘Yellow Phase’

HARRISBURG – Rep. Garth Everett (R-Lycoming/Union) and Sen. Gene Yaw (R-Bradford/Lycoming/Sullivan/Susquehanna/Union) applauded the passage of HB 2506 and HB 2513 in the House this week. Together, the bills would allow restaurants that are in counties deemed by the Wolf administration to be in the “yellow phase” to reopen safely and allow more customers to patronize their businesses.

“Since the governor will not act in a timely manner while the majority of our small businesses — especially our local dining establishments — are facing permanent closure, then he must allow the Legislature to aid him in this reopening process. These small business owners are our constituents as well and they know how to be responsible and take care of their employees and customers — most of whom are their neighbors and family.

“We have flattened the curve, as is shown by the data coming in revealing that daily cases have been declining since the peak on April 9. It is time to get our people in the “yellow phase” safely back to being able to pay their bills. I thank my colleagues in the House for their support of this common sense legislation and I am especially thankful to Sen. Yaw for urging support of these bills in the Senate.”

“This Friday, we will have 49 Pennsylvania counties that have moved into the yellow phase under the Governor’s plan,” Yaw said.  “Our local business owners, many of whom own dining establishments, are questioning what is next. Rep. Everett and I have offered a plan that provides for safe and responsible reopening, while protecting both patrons and staff in those establishments. These bills will provide economic help and hope to those facing this growing uncertainty. I look forward to a vote on these bills in the coming days.”

House Bill 2506 would amend the act of April 9, 1929, known as The Administrative Code of 1929, providing for establishment of outdoor space operation. It would allow establishments with existing decks, patios, and courtyards to open those outdoor areas and would allow up to 50% of the outdoor maximum seating capacity in order to properly institute the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and state mitigation guidelines.

For those establishments with parking lots but no existing outdoor seating space, the bill will allow those establishments to design limited seating in a designated part of the parking lot. These temporary seating areas would have to follow the same rules as decks, patios and courtyards, and have a “roped off” single-entry point.

House Bill 2513 would allow establishments to utilize 50% of their indoor seating capacity under the same rules as House Bill 2506 while also adhering to CDC and state guidance.

 

CONTACT:
Charley Hall (Rep. Everett)    (570) 546-2084
Rita Zielonis (Sen. Yaw)    (717) 787-3280