Deasy to introduce legislation to help restaurants weather COVID crisis

Bill would remove barriers to outdoor dining, encourage people to patronize struggling restaurants

PITTSBURGH, July 24 -- With Pennsylvania enacting new dining restrictions to curb the spread of a second wave of the coronavirus, state Rep Dan Deasy, D-Allegheny, and minority chair of the Liquor Control Committee, is moving to introduce legislation to support the state’s beleaguered restaurant industry.

“With the threat of this virus hanging over our communities, all of us are trying to strike a delicate balance between staying safe and returning to our normal routines as much as possible, which includes patronizing our favorite restaurants and bars,” Deasy said. “Outdoor dining has proven to be popular and successful, and we should do what we can to encourage this while making it easier for local businesses to adopt this model.”

Deasy’s proposed legislation would remove many of the barriers for outdoor seating, allowing licensees to utilize this option more easily, specifically by removing limitations concerning public thoroughfares, eliminating fees and reducing delays in approval.

Earlier this year, Deasy and other lawmakers urged the state to cut liquor fees, pushed for several other business-friendly policies and voted to modify the state’s liquor laws to help businesses during the crisis.

“These small businesses are critical cornerstones of our communities,” Deasy said. “They’re more than places to grab dinner. They support our Little League teams, community organizations and employ so many of our neighbors. And, it’s no secret they are struggling. We, as a legislature, need to step up to the plate and do what we can to help them out – before it’s too late.”