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(The Center Square) – The Pennsylvania House of Representatives unanimously agreed Tuesday on an amendment delaying the primary election until June 2 amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Senate Bill 422 faces a full vote Wednesday before it moves back to the upper chamber for a concurrence vote and on to Gov. Tom Wolf's desk for signing. House lawmakers gutted the original proposal and replaced it with language rescheduling the April 28 election for June 2 on Tuesday afternoon.

Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle say they support the move as Wolf tightens restrictions on public life across the state in response to growing numbers of residents infected with COVID-19. The Department of Health confirmed 851 cases in 40 counties on Tuesday, with seven deaths reported so far. 

Wolf extended his “stay at home” order to Erie County later the same day. He said the mitigation effort – already in effect in Allegheny, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, Monroe and Philadelphia counties — will help slow the virus’s spread. Nonessential businesses have been under a shutdown order since 8 a.m. Monday, as well.

Staff Reporter

Christen Smith follows Pennsylvania's General Assembly for The Center Square. She is an award-winning reporter with more than a decade of experience covering state and national policy issues for niche publications and local newsrooms alike.