The Pennsylvania House passed HB561, which allows liquor licensees (hotels, bars, restaurants) to hire minors to perform as musicians, but the same bill expressly prohibits any payment to those performers for their services.
This Bill passed the House by a vote to 185-12 with 5 absent. You can find the roll call of the vote right here.
If this Bill becomes law, there are serious implications for working musicians:
The performance fees that establishments are willing to pay are going to decrease;
It institutionalizes the fiction that young/beginning performers should perform (read: work) for free and give away their labor;
This is a boon for establishments that can now book minors for zero dollars rather than hire professionals;
This also impacts DJs who work clubs, because my reading of this Bill includes DJs also.
One of two things is possible. One alternative is that the State Representatives who voted for this legislation are totally ignorant of the economic difficulties musical performers face. Alternatively, the State Representatives who voted for this legislation are aware of the difficulties that musicians face and are indifferent at best or at worst, dismissive or hostile to the needs of musicians.
You can read the text of HB561 below: