How will PA Gov. enforce order requiring certain businesses to close? WTAJ Investigates

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STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (WTAJ)–Following Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf’s five page list specifying which businesses are ‘life sustaining’ and which must close, many throughout the state are asking:

How will this be enforced? What will happen to businesses who must close, but havent?

State officials say the goal is not to give businesses immediate citations and fines…instead they’re looking to educate owners. But if owners continue to not listen, the State Police say they will face consequences.

Those consequences will be listed later in this article. First, below are the groups Gov. Wolf is telling to check-up on businesses:

  • PA Liquor Control Board
  • PA Department of Health
  • PA Department of Agriculture
  • PA State Police
  • Local County/Municipal Officials (District Attorney, Local Police)

“From the restaurant and food establishment side, our health officers will be enforcing Governor Wolf’s order,” said Douglas Shontz, Assistant to the Manager for State College Borough.

Shontz said he’s already put out a press release alerting local business owners that the borough will checking to ensure compliance.

“All businesses non-restaurant related will be investigated by borough police. They will work with the DA’s office on how they will move forward with enforcement policies,” Shontz said.

He added the borough hopes they will not need to be harsh in their enforcement.

“It’s about voluntary compliance. They don’t want to have to issue citations or legal action,” Shontz said.

What consequences will non-complying businesses face?

State law allows non-complying businesses to be issued hundreds of dollars in fines.

Owners may also face up to 30 days in jail.

Additionally, they may have their liquor license suspended.

Shontz hopes businesses listen to the governor so they don’t face these penalties, which he feels will worsen the situation for owners that are already struggling to make ends meet.

“The economic impact of losing the Blue/White Game and Commencement weekend, it hurts us as a municipality because we care about the people invested in the community. But, it’s about balancing that care for economic impact with overall public health,” Shontz said.

State College Police said as of Monday, they have not given any citations to businesses for failing to comply with Governor Wolf’s order.

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