Sainato hails passage of bill to broaden restaurant guidelines

HARRISBURG, Sept. 23 – Calling it a victory for restaurant and bar owners, state Rep. Chris Sainato lauded today’s House vote to pass the Senate-amended H.B. 2513, which would expand capacity for restaurants and bars to a minimum of 50% provided they comply with CDC safety guidelines.

Sainato, D-Lawrence, said the bill – which also would allow permit patrons to again sit at bars and remove the requirement of a meal with the purchase of alcohol – is critical for keeping restaurants and bars in business.

“Our restaurant and tavern industries, our private clubs and our VFWs have all been shut down for six months, and many can barely survive,” Sainato said. “It’s time to stop penalizing these hardworking mom-and-pop businesses who are playing by the rules and doing everything they can to keep patrons safe. It’s time to go after the bad actors and stop punishing those who are acting responsibly to protect their customers.

“Sadly, some of these well-loved community establishments have already shut down and are not coming back. If we don’t act now, we’ll only lose more. I’m glad a number of my colleagues joined me in deciding that it’s time to trust our local business owners and give them the respect they deserve so they can continue supporting their families – and our local economy.”

The bill passed on a concurrence vote of 145-56 and now heads to the governor.