Apr. 30, 2020

HARRISBURG - House Bill 2429, introduced by Rep. Russ Diamond (R-Lebanon) and co-sponsored by Reps. Kate Klunk (R-York) and Torren Ecker (R-Adams/Cumberland), passed the House today. Diamond, Klunk and Ecker applaud its passage and urge the Senate to move the bill forward.

“This bill is not about buying shovels and mowers; it’s about food for millions of Pennsylvanians during a public health crisis,” said Diamond. “In this time of crisis where major food chains have been broken, individuals will want to become more self-sufficient in feeding their families. Food shortages never end well. Let’s do what Indiana, Michigan, Illinois and neighboring Northeast states did and exempt local garden centers from this shutdown. I thank my colleagues for their support of this bill.”

“We are now in prime planting season and the longer the governor waits to open garden centers, the more damage will be done,” Klunk said. “Though the House approved this bill today, we urge the governor to take action and reopen garden centers before this bill reaches his desk. It’s the right thing to do.”

“The governor’s order to close businesses automatically created winners and losers, especially in the gardening industry, in what is supposed to be a free market,” Ecker said. “This bill simply brings all gardening businesses back to parity so they can responsibly serve customers.”

House Bill 2429 would grant a waiver to the governor's COVID-19 Business Closure Order to all lawn and garden equipment and supplies stores that can adhere to the social distancing practices and other mitigation measures defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), effectively opening them up for in-person operations.

While the Wolf administration has issued guidance for how local garden centers should operate amid COVID-19, small garden supply businesses remain closed due to the governor’s business closure mandate.

Representative Russ Diamond
102nd Legislative District

Representative Kate A. Klunk
169th Legislative District

Representative Torren Ecker
193rd District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives