Burns: Decision to ease restaurant restrictions long overdue

Lawmaker called for easing of restrictions in July

EBENSBURG, Sept. 8 – Months after he and other lawmakers called for easing restrictions on restaurant occupancy, state Rep. Frank Burns said he is encouraged by the governor’s long overdue announcement that indoor dining limits will be increased from 25% to 50% beginning Sept. 21.

“Coming from a family that owns a restaurant, and having spent months meeting and listening to other small business owners and restaurateurs in our community, I know the hardships they faced under the governor’s restrictions,” said Burns, D-Cambria. “These limitations were unsustainable, putting mom-and-pop businesses across the state out of business for good and putting hardworking Pennsylvanians out of work.”

In July, Burns led a group of lawmakers in calling for the governor to ease the 25% occupancy restrictions, especially in areas where the coronavirus has not been as prevalent. Burns has also voted five times – more than any other Democrat -- to end the state’s ongoing disaster declaration, including last week when he joined an effort to override the governor’s veto.

Since the start of the pandemic, Burns has consistently voted and advocated to balance the safety of workers and families with the need to allow businesses to safely reopen. He has also consistently and publicly questioned the administration about its response and pressed for more details on the metrics used in making decisions about reopening Pennsylvania’s economy.

“I’m not afraid to stand up to this governor – or any official – when it comes to protecting the rights and livelihoods of the people I’ve been elected to represent,” Burns said. “That is why I’ve consistently voted to check Governor Wolf’s power – and to reopen Pennsylvania.”