Could businesses with COVID suspended, revoked licenses finally get relief?

24 January 2024- Today, Rep. Russ Diamond (R-Lebanon) introduced House Bill 1969 to provide critical relief for Pennsylvanians who were disciplined by the Wolf Administration during the COVID-19 pandemic for keeping their businesses open and trying to make a living.

The language requires the licensing boards and commissions under the Department of State to reinstate any license, registration, certificate or permit that was suspended or revoked specifically for failure to comply with COVID-19 protocols set forth by the Governor and the Secretary of Health.

Additionally, the legislation requires the licensing boards and commissions to remove any disciplinary action taken by a licensing board on a licensee during COVID-19 for failure to comply with COVID-19 protocols, such as warning letters, fines and other actions that may appear on a licensee’s disciplinary history.

“As a matter of perspective, these disciplinary actions were taken under an indefinite disaster emergency system that no longer exists in Pennsylvania,” Diamond said. “The people of this Commonwealth were so outraged by administrative overreach during this period that they saw fit to change our state constitution, making Pennsylvania the only state in the nation to reduce its governor’s emergency powers via constitutional change.

Our collective experience during the COVID-19 disaster emergency created a lot of bad blood and set Pennsylvanians against one another when their opinions on the governmental response to COVID-19 differed.”

In December, Diamond introduced this language as an amendment to House Bill 901.

“Every Democrat in the House voted to defeat it,” Diamond stated. “I find their profound lack of support for our constituents, business owners and professionals deeply troubling, which is why I am offering this language again as a standalone bill.”