Cephas applauds the passage of 'stop and go' legislation

HARRISBURG, June 27 – State Rep. Morgan Cephas, D-Phila., said the passage of H.B. 1547 by the House of Representatives is a step in the right direction to revitalizing Philadelphia neighborhoods.

House Bill 1547 was introduced by state Reps. Jordan Harris and Donna Bullock, both D-Phila., and Rep. Joanna McClinton, D-Phila./Delaware. The bill would allow the state Liquor Control Board to designate saturated nuisance market areas, where violations would be subject to enhanced penalties, fines and suspensions, and allow the board to remove licenses from those areas.

Cephas is a co-sponsor of the bill and has been a vocal proponent of legislation that would curtail the harms caused to neighborhoods by “stop and go” establishments. In April, she hosted a public meeting in Northwest Philadelphia to address the issue.

“I would like to thank my colleagues for taking the lead and holding stop and go establishments accountable,” Cephas said. “These establishments are detrimental to our communities, particularly our middle neighborhoods, and have the potential to prevent us from building economic development and improving our business corridors. Most of the issues that impact our communities – such as crime, loitering and even gun violence – are centered around these establishments. They serve as a deterrent to businesses that want to invest in our communities and discourage new neighbors from moving in.”

The legislation would give LCB the authority to look at the number of citations, police incidents, objection to renewals and conditional license agreements of eatery and restaurant licensees to determine if an area should be deemed a saturated nuisance market location. Additionally, saturated nuisance market areas would be subject to additional conditions such as transaction scan devices, food preparation and unannounced inspections by the State Police Liquor Control Enforcement.

“This legislation was successful because we came together as a delegation to solve this problem,” Cephas said. “After hosting public meetings together, we found that neighborhoods across the city were experiencing the same problem. I hope that we can continue to come together to tackle other issues that impact our city.”