An Open Letter To The Pennsylvania House Of Representatives On HB 2513
The following is a letter to the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, sent on Monday, October 19, from the Pennsylvania Licensed Beverage and Tavern Association Executive Director Chuck Moran. The letter covers Governor Wolf’s veto of HB 2513.
With COVID-19 fatigue increasing, we worry that Governor Wolf’s veto of HB 2513 last Friday promotes underground gatherings and house parties, which will feed the current spike of COVID-19 cases our Commonwealth is facing. Pennsylvanians are already flocking to parties with a false sense of safety because they are amongst people they know. But no CDC guidelines are followed at those locations and those attending face increased risk. Please consider voting to override this veto – to help the state’s taverns and restaurants, and to help reduce this threat.
If Governor Wolf had signed HB 2513, those Pennsylvanians would have had safer options to enjoy a night out.
Consider what he vetoed:
- Additional outdoor seating in unused locations within the property of taverns and licensed restaurants that are required to follow social distancing guidance (a previous amendment from Senate Democrats)
- Use of barstools at bar countertops in both indoor and outdoor settings at licensed establishments following social distancing guidance
- 50 percent occupancy at licensed establishments following social distancing guidance enforced for all other businesses
In the past two months, Governor Wolf allowed schools to open and increased attendance into the thousands of people at gatherings. We all know that there is no shortage of kegs, cases, and liquor bottles – and of course house parties – in college towns and elsewhere.
Our struggling neighborhood bars, taverns, and pubs are not the reason for the current spike. Through contact tracing, we know that just two percent of COVID-19 positive patients reported having been in a bar within the 14 days before testing!
The eyes of the industry are looking upon you for help. Small business taverns, their employees, and their patrons ask for your support, and a vote to override the Governor’s veto of HB 2513.