House Democrats join Gov. Wolf for signing of ‘stop and go’ law

PHILADELPHIA, Nov. 1 – State Reps. Jordan Harris, D-Phila., and Maria Donatucci, D-Phila./Delaware, today joined Gov. Tom Wolf, members of the state Liquor Control Board, and state and local Philadelphia legislators for the signing of a bill that increases the state’s ability to better deal with “stop and go” nuisance establishments in Philadelphia and throughout Pennsylvania.

The new authority is included in a Fiscal Code bill (H.B. 674), which the House passed last week. Under the legislation, if the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board finds that a licensed establishment does not meet the seating, square footage, food or health requirements under the state Liquor Code, the LCB can suspend the license immediately. The new law also gives local government entities the power to make recommendations to the LCB to investigate establishments believed to be failing to meet code requirements.

Harris, chairman of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus, who sponsored earlier legislation to address "stop and gos," said, “In June, we began to work on legislation to increase the ability of local law enforcement agencies to stop the unscrupulous business practices of local ‘stop and go’ establishments. Today, we are able to begin the process of removing this nuisance from our community. Although this is just one of many steps needed to ensure the safety and serenity of our neighborhoods, the political will and courage displayed by all involved shows that we are on our way to lasting change.”

Donatucci, chairwoman of the Philadelphia County Delegation, said she is glad the issue of “stop and gos” is finally being laid to rest.

“I am pleased to have played a role in getting these enforcements passed and to be here today with Governor Wolf as he signed the bill into law,” Donatucci said. “Philadelphians have consistently asked for safer communities and the best quality of life possible. ‘Stop and gos’ have been a danger for far too long and I am glad we are finally working together to hold them to a higher standard.”

Rep. Donna Bullock, D-Phila., who also sponsored legislation to tackle "stop and gos," said, “Today we take a stand to ensure that there exists a common set of business standards. Through a bipartisan effort and support from Governor Wolf, the community now has a say in identifying nuisance establishments that wreak havoc in our neighborhoods. Our community and neighboring businesses should not have to suffer because of a few bad actors.”

Rep. Joanna McClinton, D-Phila./Delaware, another sponsor of earlier "stop and go" legislation, said, “I am excited to stand here with Governor Wolf as we take back our communities. ‘Stop and gos’ have been driving good businesses from our communities for years. We can finally hold all business owners to the same standard.”