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 Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman (R-34).

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. 

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: Jenn Kocher – jkocher@pasen.gov