Caution: Primaries Ahead | Five for Your Weekend

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Happy weekend, everyone!

This is the final few days before the primary election on Tuesday, June 2. Below are links to information on drop off locations for mail-in ballots, our guide to the elections on the ballot and recommendations from the Pennsylvania Department of State for voting in-person on Tuesday.

Voting at polling places

Drop off locations

Pennsylvania Primary 2020: Your guide to the June 2 presidential and statewide elections

On election day, our reporters will be reporting results from various races across the state.

As always, the top five stories from this week’s news are below to help you stay current.

All the best,
Cassie Miller | Associate Editor

1. COVID-19 outbreak in Pa.: What’s open and what’s closedThis story will be updated with the latest COVID-related re-openings. Last update: Wednesday, May 13, 2020.

Updated: The Pa. Liquor Control Board announced Wednesday that limited, walk-in sales will resume at 155 more state-run liquor stores starting Friday, for a total of 232 stores in 36 of 67 counties.

Updated: Twenty-four Pennsylvania counties emerge from lockdown on Friday morning, going from the “red zone,” to the “yellow zone,” in the Wolf administration’s color-coded reopening scheme. The move allows for the reopening of most businesses, with social distancing and other public health restrictions still in place. Meanwhile, the administration extended its stay at home order for the rest of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties until June 4.

Updated: On a call with journalists on Tuesday, Gov. Tom Wolf had this to say about the next steps in the state’s ongoing reopening effort: “I think the southwest is doing a phenomenal job. And again, we’ll be making another announcement soon. And the hope is that we can move quickly there, wherever else in Pennsylvania. We’re making good progress as we make good progress with this disease to open up and keep people safe.”

2. And then there were six | Your guide to Pennsylvania’s auditor general primaryWith Pennsylvania’s June 2 primary just three weeks away, the race to fill the seat of term-limited Auditor General Eugene DePasquale is hotly contested.

DePasquale, a Democrat, meanwhile, is running for the Democratic nomination for the 10th Congressional District seat now held by GOP U.S. Rep.Scott Perry.

With one Republican and six Democrats all vying for the chance to be the state’s top fiscal watchdog, the June 2 Democratic primary offers a variety of options for auditor general position.

3. Pa. House panel moves to end Wolf’s executive powers amid pandemic

(*This story was updated at 1:18 pm and 2:34 pm on 5/21/20, with additional information) A state House panel approved ending Gov. Tom Wolf’s COVID-19 disaster declaration outright in a near-party line vote Thursday morning.

The vote comes hours after the Republican-controlled House failed to muster the votes to overturn Wolf’s veto of a bill that would have allowed hundreds of businesses across the commonwealth to reopen.

The legislative cancellation, authorized by the same state law that Wolf cited to begin his pandemic response, must now pass the whole House.

It would then require the Senate’s approval to officially end Wolf’s legal decree, which his administration has used to justify everything from providing liability protection to health professionals to shutting down businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

4. COVID-19 in the Capitol: One lawmaker positive for COVID, two more in quarantine*Updated at 7:53 a.m., on Thursday, 5/28/20, with additional information.

At least three Pennsylvania lawmakers say they’ve been in self-quarantine after exposure to COVID-19.

In a statement Wednesday, Rep. Andrew Lewis, R-Dauphin, confirmed he has tested positive for the disease. He is the first lawmaker to be tested positive for the coronavirus.

Another two GOP lawmakers, Rep. Russ Diamond, of Lebanon County, and Rep. Frank Ryan, of Lebanon County, also are in quarantine. Diamond told the Capital-Star he was also in self-quarantine due to potential exposure to a positive case at the Capitol.

The revelations come as the House prepared to pass important components of a temporary state budget during the pandemic. The news infuriated House Democrats, who discovered the news hours before Lewis’ statement.

5. In late night debate, House votes to undo Wolf’s emergency declarationIn a late night vote Thursday, the Pennsylvania House passed a resolution to end all business closures ordered by Gov. Tom Wolf in mid-March to mitigate the spread of coronavirus.

The proposal passed 117-85, with the support of all 109 Republicans and 8 Democrats.

The Senate must now approve a matching resolution for it to go into effect. But Wolf and Republican legislators disagree on how the chief executive must answer the proposal.

The order originally ended Wolf’s emergency declaration wholesale, but was amended Thursday night by House Majority Leader Bryan Cutler, R-Lancaster, to target Wolf’s business closures.

And that’s the week. Enjoy the rest of your weekend. We’ll see you all back here on Monday.

Cassie Miller
A native Pennsylvanian, Cassie Miller worked for various publications across the Midstate before joining the team at the Pennsylvania Capital-Star. In her previous roles, she has covered everything from local sports to the financial services industry. Miller has an extensive background in magazine writing, editing and design. She is a graduate of Penn State University where she served as the campus newspaper’s photo editor. She is currently pursuing her master’s degree in professional journalism at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. In addition to her role at the Capital-Star, Miller enjoys working on her independent zines, Dead Air and Infrared.