The Pennsylvania House Makes the Economy Even Worse for Working Musicians

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:

  1. The performance fees that establishments are willing to pay are going to decrease;

  2. It institutionalizes the fiction that young/beginning performers should perform (read: work) for free and give away their labor;

  3. This is a boon for establishments that can now book minors for zero dollars rather than hire professionals;

  4. 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:

TLO Alert Re: Executive Order on Entry into the United States

The legal landscape is changing rapidly, perhaps now more so than any time in American history.  While we are only one week into the Trump Administration, federal policy is shifting before our very eyes.  The political climate is no doubt highly charged, as I am sure you have all experienced in your conversations with friends and neighbors.  

In a non-partisan and non-political way, I will do my best to analyze and provide context on the legal aspects of these federal issues that may directly or indirectly impact your businesses and/or organizations.  This analysis is intended to provide some clarity for TLO friends and clients.


On January 27, 2017, President Trump signed an Executive Order (the “Order”) entitled “Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States.” It is a densely worded document, but the Order does the following:

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