HARRISBURG, PA — With strong bi-partisan support the Senate Community, Economic and Recreational Development Committee, chaired by Senator Tom Killion (R-Chester and Delaware), yesterday approved House Bill 2388 and House Bill 2412 which would grant waivers allowing all manufacturers, barbers, real estate operations and other industries to operate in Pennsylvania under the COVID-19 emergency declaration.
“The safe operation of big box stores across the commonwealth demonstrate that other industries can safely resume operations,” said Killion. “The waivers granted in these bills rectifies the arbitrariness of the governor’s decisions to shutter businesses and removes the veil of secrecy under which the Department of Community and Economic Development granted waivers.”
House Bill 2388, sponsored by Representative Natalie Mihalek (R-Allegheny), provides a waiver for automobile dealers to operate. House Bill 2412, sponsored by Representative Todd Polinchock (R-Bucks), provides the same accommodation for all real estate services.
Amendments were adopted to the legislation approved by the committee to also provide waivers for manufacturing, barbers, hairstylists, animal groomers, lawn and garden centers, messenger and agent services and legal services. Killion noted all industries granted waivers in the advanced legislation are capable of operating safely under CDC guidelines.
Both amendments and House Bill 2388 were approved by 11-3 votes, House Bill 2412 was approved 12-2.
“Manufacturing is the engine that drives Pennsylvania’s economy and we will need all of that positive force to launch the recovery,” said David N. Taylor, President & CEO of the Pennsylvania Manufacturers’ Association. “Senator Killion’s effort to safely bring all manufacturing online is a critical first step towards preventing a new Depression that would impoverish millions of Pennsylvanians and destroy the tax base. Many manufacturing operations that were ordered closed in Pennsylvania remained open in competitor states, so this responsible restart is urgently needed to protect our competitive position.”
“If housing and shelter aren’t life sustaining, I don’t know what is,” said Dominic Cardone, broker and partner in a Delaware County-based real estate brokerage with approximately 400 agents. “Realtors are committed to conducting business in full compliance with CDC and social distancing guidelines. I and many others applaud Senator Killion and his colleagues for recognizing we can safely help people find apartments and market their homes.”
“These industries have the ability to operate safely and it’s important they be given the opportunity to do so,” noted Killion. “COVID-19 is much more than a public health emergency. It is an economic disaster of almost incomprehensible proportions. The longer we delay the safe reopening of our economy, the more difficult it will be for Pennsylvanians to get back on their feet.”
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