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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: March 27, 2020 04:09 PM
From: Representative Perry S. Warren
To: All House members
Subject: Anti-Hoarding During the COVID-19 Pandemic
The communal spirit of Pennsylvanians has been overwhelming during the COVID-19 pandemic. We have come together and have sought to help our neighbors and those who need us in these trying times.

Nonetheless, there have been reports of hoarding of certain items and price-gouging in Pennsylvania and other states. Hoarding can, and in some areas has, resulted in temporary shortages of groceries and paper and cleaning supplies. In some cases, hoarders purchase large quantities of necessary items, hoping to resell them at large profits, knowing that they can “hedge their investment” by returning the items to the store for a refund or credit if the shortage abates or when the crisis ends.

Not only do these shortages leave vulnerable populations in even more danger, but the possibility exists that these items, if returned, could carry with them the COVID-19 virus on their surfaces. This puts both grocery store workers and consumers at risk of being exposed to the virus.

In order to dissuade hoarding and to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus by way of grocery items, I will be introducing legislation that would prohibit the return of grocery items during the current state of emergency declared in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and for 30 days thereafter. Grocery stores would carry the sole discretion of accepting returned items that may have been unsafe or otherwise defective at the time of sale, but those items would not be eligible for resale.

Please join me in co-sponsoring this legislation to help keep all of us safe and healthy in these uncertain times.

Introduced as HB2390