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House Bill to increase capacity at PA restaurants on way to Governor


 Today, the House concurred in Senate amendments to a bill, co-sponsored by Rep. Craig Staats (R-145), which would provide “much-needed relief to the owners and employees of Pennsylvania’s restaurants and taverns who have been suffering under Gov. Tom Wolf’s COVID-19 mitigation orders,” said a press release from Staats.

“Nearly 70% of our bars and restaurants will not be here in six months if we remain on the present course,” he said.  “House Bill 2513 relaxes indoor seating limits; allows for outdoor dining; eliminates a requirement that alcohol sales be accompanied by a meal; and affords those who work in this industry some measure of stability and certainty in what has been a perpetually changing landscape.”


While Wolf recently increased the restaurant capacity limit from 25% to 50%, this legislation would “prevent him from arbitrarily changing his mind and lowering it again.” Staats said, even at 50% capacity, most restaurants are not profitable. At best, they can pay their bills and keep the lights on.

In the debate leading up to today’s House vote, Staats, who worked many years in the restaurant industry, shared his insight into the struggles restaurateurs and tavern owners have been facing and argued strenuously for passage of the bill.

House Bill 2513 passed by a vote of 145-56 and is now on its way to the governor’s desk.