HARRISBURG – Gov. Tom Wolf announced he will allow real estate activity to resume statewide, right after he vetoed a bill that would have required him to do just that.
Wolf said Tuesday he vetoed House Bill 2412 and two other bills that would have forced him to relax business restrictions because he considered them “an infringement” on his authority as governor.
Pennsylvania had been the only state in the country barring real estate sales as part of its pandemic response, according to the Pennsylvania Association of Realtors.
He also vetoed two other bills that would have allowed counties to determine if they could reopen and would have relaxed the restrictions on car dealerships, lawn and garden stores, animal grooming, and barber shops and beauty salons.
Most of those businesses are allowed to operate in counties that have been moved to the state’s yellow phase of partially-reopened economies. Barber shops and beauty salons are among the businesses that are still closed statewide.
Republicans, who hold the majorities in both chambers, blasted Wolf for vetoing the legislation.
“The governor continues to arbitrarily choose who can thrive and who will fail,” said House Majority Leader Bryan Cutler, R-Lancaster County.
Wolf’s veto, which wasn’t much of a surprise, came after Democrats in the General Assembly had come out in support of relaxing the restrictions on real estate.
Minutes after announcing his veto, the governor released new guidelines that would allow real estate activity to resume statewide:
• Property showings must be done by appointment and all present must wear masks.
• The number of people at a property showing must be limited to the real estate agent and no more than two others.
• During property closings, remote communication should be used as much as possible;
• Those traveling to property showings should travel in separate vehicles.
Previously, businesses and employees in the real estate industry were permitted to conduct limited in-person activities in counties in the yellow phase of the state’s phased reopening plan. Real estate sales were prohibited in counties in the state’s red phase of reopening.