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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2015 - 2016 Regular Session


Posted: December 4, 2014 01:58 PM
From: Senator Stewart J. Greenleaf
To: All Senate members
Subject: Hotel law consolidation
I am reintroducing Senate Bill 113, consolidating several statutes relating to hotels and other lodging establishments. The statutes will become Chapter 13 of Title 48 (Lodging and Housing) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes. This legislation continues the process of placing all of Pennsylvania’s statutes in the titles of the consolidated statutes. For example, the General Assembly enacted 2009 Act 33 consolidating the Prisons and Parole Code as Title 61, and 2009 Act 49 consolidating the law relating to constables in Title 44, Chapter 71.

No substantive changes are intended. The statutes consolidated in Chapter 13 cover topics such as the right of hotelkeepers to deny accommodations to persons who refuse to pay, who are disorderly, or who possess controlled substances or illegal firearms. Provisions of Chapter 13 also include the right of a hotelkeeper to eject a person from the premises and to recover for damages to a room.

Hotelkeepers must maintain a guest register which shows the name, residence, date of arrival and departure of guests. The legislation also contains provisions relating to security such as posting notices that guests are required to lock their rooms. There are provisions relating to the use of safes or vaults to store valuables, liability for theft or loss, and baggage left behind. There are also safety related provisions including one provision regulating tourist camp cabin or trailer heaters and another one regulating cribs when a hotel provides a crib for an infant guest.

All of these provisions are brought together in one chapter. Statutes relating to hotel or tourism taxes have not been included in this legislation.

Pennsylvania remains the only state that has not completely consolidated its statutes. I believe that it is important to bring our statutes together in a concise and coordinated fashion. The use of a consistent style and common definitions for words and phrases makes the law more readable. It is easier for the public to access a well-organized and written body of statutory law.

It is not the intent of this consolidation to make revisions to the law other than the editorial changes needed to conform to the style of the consolidated statutes. However, the legislation does use the term “hotelkeeper” throughout to avoid the inconsistency of using “innkeeper” in some places, “hotelkeeper” in others, and “proprietor” in still others. By bringing all the laws together that deal with one particular subject, they are easier to research, read and understand.

Introduced as SB179