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08/08/2020 08:17 PM
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
https://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/Legis/CSM/showMemoPublic.cfm?chamber=H&SPick=20190&cosponId=31666
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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session

MEMORANDUM

Posted: April 27, 2020 10:57 AM
From: Representative Rosemary M. Brown
To: All House members
Subject: Halting Short-Term Rentals During Disaster Declaration
 
In an effort to protect the area and the residents I represent, I have drafted legislation to temporarily halt the operations of short-term rentals in Pennsylvania once the Governor declares a disaster declaration under Title 35 emergency powers. This legislation specifically notes the definition of short-term rentals as anything that is not for a primary residence and when the owner is not in the business of owning, operating or managing a hotel.

 
We all strongly appreciate our tourism market and visitors, however, we have a duty and responsibility to protect the residents of Pennsylvania we represent. During the COVID-19 health crisis it was apparent that interstate travel into Pennsylvania and especially the Pocono Region along the border was compromised and put at a stronger risk. Access to short term rentals, often advertised as “coronavirus free” or “escape from the virus” properties appeared consistently to rent. These advertisements worked against our local and state efforts to lessen exposure to out of state hotspots and populations. I believe these advertisements and actions are unethical and socially irresponsible.  Stay at Home orders were meant to keep people home and safe and NOT to rent homes in another state during that time, further complicating a possible viral spread, halting efforts for our society to return to normal as quickly as possible and possibly stressing our local resources.
 
I am asking that you co-sponsor this legislation, understanding the importance that this provision plays in protecting our resources for any disaster in the future. We must be focused on protecting our primary residents and providing for them during difficult times. Please remember this will only go into place once a Governor declares a disaster declaration.