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The Latest News from Your State Representative
Please do not reply to this e-mail, as I am unable to respond to messages sent to this address. You can contact me directly at vgaydos@pahousegop.com or here.
The House Majority Policy Committee wants to hear from you directly. This week, the committee launched a COVID-19 Economic Recovery Business Survey with a goal to gather feedback for use by the caucus’ Economic Recovery Task Force as it works to develop and implement policies to restore the state’s struggling economy.

The survey is open to employers in all sectors and businesses of all sizes. The brief survey seeks information about your business or industry and then invites feedback about the challenges facing your particular business or industry, the type of assistance that would be most beneficial, the one most impactful thing state government could do to support your future success, and any other ideas to kickstart the Commonwealth’s economic recovery.

Please take a few moments to fill out this survey and share your insights and expertise. Click here to take the survey.

As always, I will keep you updated!

Valerie Gaydos
Gaydos Urges DOH: Don’t Limit COVID-19 Vaccine Providers, Invites Residents to Sign Petition

The Direct Care Physicians of Pittsburgh, along with medical students of the University of Pittsburgh, are extremely dissatisfied with the Pennsylvania Department of Health's (DOH) decision to limit the number of vaccine providers from 1,700 to approximately 200 providers, of which only large hospital-affiliated institutions and commercial pharmacies are included.

This excludes efforts from medical providers unaffiliated with a major hospital corporation. These phase 1A qualifying health care workers as well as many qualifying Pennsylvanians have found it extremely difficult to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, and small clinics and unaffiliated physicians are perfectly positioned in the community to quickly mobilize and help these people.

Gaydos also urges the DOH to not only ensure all clinics receive the allotted second doses of the COVID-19 vaccine that they need to finish the vaccination series, but to again include smaller health care providers in distributing first doses to keep Pennsylvanians healthy and safe.

Gaydos wants everyone to take action! Click below to sign a petition calling on the Department of Health to not limit COVID-19 vaccine providers.
Creation of COVID 19 Vaccine Task Force

Last week, the Wolf administration announced that it is establishing a joint task force with members from each legislative caucus who can share vaccine information and communicate issues and solutions expediently on behalf of and to the broader General Assembly.

Members of the task force include:
  •   Alison Beam (Co-chair) – Acting Pennsylvania Secretary of Health.
  •   Randy Padfield (Co-chair) – Director of the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA).
  •   Sen. Ryan Aument – (R-Lancaster).
  •   Rep. Tim O’Neal – (R-Washington).
  •   Sen. Art Haywood - (D-Philadelphia/Montgomery).
  •   Rep. Bridget Kosierowski - (D-Lackawanna).

The task force is a huge step in the right direction even though it should have been established a year ago. I remain cautiously optimistic that the task force will be a legitimate way to address the issues with vaccine distribution.

The vaccine distribution and administration is an extremely complex situation across the state with all levels of government, more than 700 providers and various state agencies involved.
IRRC Calls for Delay of RGGI

The Independent Regulatory Review Commission is calling for a one-year moratorium on the implementation of Gov. Tom Wolf’s mandate that Pennsylvania join the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) and questioned the governor’s unilateral decision to join the compact without legislative approval.

Click here to learn more! 

Rep. Gaydos is on record as saying, “The way RGGI is being implemented is another way that Gov. Tom Wolf is overstepping his authority. Instead, it should be more inclusive to its participants and decision makers. Something as serious and complex as RGGI should not be done by an executive order. It should be part of an extensive and thoughtful plan which should involve a comprehensive energy policy. Nobody should take this issue lightly.”
FPC Wins Major Carry-Rights Lawsuit

This week, Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC) announced that it has resolved its Cowey v. Mullen right-to-carry lawsuit filed less than three months ago with a binding settlement agreement resulting in permanent, positive changes to the carry licensing policies of Allegheny County and its Sheriff’s Office.

Click here to learn more about the decision.
Gaydos Participates in PSBA-Organized Student Forum

Rep. Gaydos was the special guest of the Pennsylvania School Boards Association (PSBA) virtual student’s forum. Students from the Quaker Valley and Avonworth participated. Our future leaders discussed with Gaydos the legislative process, the most pressing issues facing lawmakers and how to combat the coronavirus pandemic most effectively. Gaydos acknowledged the efforts of Lena Hannah, PSBA Advocacy Ambassador for PSBA, who coordinated the event as well as the participating students.
Be Tested for Colon Cancer


March is National Colon Cancer Awareness Month. The balcony lights at the state Capitol in Harrisburg will be blue in hopes of sparking curiosity and starting a conversation about this dreaded affliction.

As Cancer Caucus Chair, Rep. Gaydos encourages all patients, survivors and caregivers to share their stories, advocate for colon cancer prevention and inform others about the importance of early detection.

Click here for more information.
Budget Hearings Continue This Week

Several key state agencies are on the agenda for this week’s state budget hearings, including a full day devoted to the state Department of Health, which has been front and center in the state’s COVID-19 response. On Thursday, Feb. 25, the House Appropriations Committee has scheduled two sessions with the department, one beginning at 10 a.m. and the other at 1 p.m.

As a member of the House Health Committee, I will be in Harrisburg this week to monitor the hearings and to provide input to our Appropriations Committee.

The focus of budget hearings is not only to assess the financial requests of state agencies but also to review the effectiveness of their operations.

Also on tap for this week are the departments of Environmental Protection, General Services, Transportation, Agriculture, and Drug and Alcohol programs. Hearings are also planned with the state Liquor Control Board and Bureau of Liquor Control Enforcement, as well as officials from state-related universities, which include Pitt, Penn State, Temple and Lincoln. All hearings will be streamed live at www.PAHouseGOP.com.

The committee completed hearings this week with, among others, the Department of Revenue and the Independent Fiscal Office. A major point of discussion in those hearings was the governor’s proposed 46% Personal Income Tax hike, how it would impact families and small businesses, and how it fails to comply with the uniformity clause in the state Constitution. For video of completed hearings and a schedule of hearings coming up, click here.          

Earlier this month, Gov. Tom Wolf outlined a budget proposal that seeks to increase state spending by more than $3 billion, or 8%, over the current fiscal year, as well as increase the state income tax on families and small businesses by 46% and impose a new tax on the energy industry.
‘Mixed Earners’ UC Program Now Available

The state Department of Labor & Industry (L&I) is now accepting applications for the new Mixed Earners Unemployment Compensation (MEUC) program. Payments will be retroactive and will begin in several weeks.

The MEUC program was created by Congress as part of the federal Continued Assistance for Unemployment Workers Act of 2020 to assist workers who had multiple sources of income that varied in eligibility for traditional Unemployment Compensation. MEUC provides an additional $100 weekly in extra benefits to eligible claimants.

MEUC Eligibility Requirements include:
  •   You must be receiving an unemployment benefit from a program other than Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA).
  •   You must be receiving an unemployment benefit for claims weeks covered by the MEUC program, which are Jan. 2, 2021, through March 13, 2021.
  •   You must have at least $5,000 in net income from self-employment during the most recent taxable year.
  •   You must apply for the MEUC program and submit documentation which clearly shows $5,000 net income.

For more information about the program, acceptable document and how to apply, click here.
Pennsylvanians Urged to Stay Alert for Fraud

Administration officials are again urging everyone to be alert to potential fraud in the wake of additional federal unemployment program funding, which has prompted increased attempts by scammers to steal people’s personal information.

In an effort to create fraudulent unemployment program claims or log into existing claims to redirect benefits payments, fraudsters are working to steal peoples’ usernames, passwords, unemployment Personal Identification Numbers (PINs) and Social Security numbers. In many cases, they are relying on phishing or spoofing attempts, such as:
  •   Contacting intended victims by calling, texting, emailing or messaging via social media.
  •   Posing as representatives of the PA Department of Labor and Industry (L&I) or other government entities or groups to “help” claimants with issues so they can gather their personal and confidential information.
  •   Pretending to be unemployment claimants on Facebook or Twitter and offering to help legitimate claimants with their issues via phone or email, with the goal of stealing their personally identifiable information.

Pennsylvanians are reminded that L&I never contacts anyone and asks for their username, password, PIN or full Social Security number. Additionally, L&I does not communicate with claimants over social media and the only valid email addresses to contact Pennsylvania’s Unemployment Compensation Service Center are uchelp@pa.gov and ucpua@pa.gov.

Also be on the lookout for unemployment fraud that may also indicate you have been a victim of identity theft. L&I officials say anyone who received a 1099-G form for unemployment benefits they did not apply for is likely the victim of a widespread national unemployment fraud issue and should take the necessary steps to report the fraud and protect their information.

Additional information about these fraud threats is available at www.dli.pa.gov.
Property Tax/Rent Rebate Forms Available Now

Application forms for PA's Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program are now available in my district office. Keep in mind this is for the 2020 tax year, meaning you must already have filed your tax returns in order to complete them.

If you click here and still have questions, please call my office in Moon Township at 412-262-3780.

A reminder, senior citizens and people with disabilities eligible for the state’s 2020 Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program can now file for their rebates online at www.mypath.pa.gov.

Submitting your application online is easy and does not require you to sign up for an account. It can lead to faster processing and direct deposit options, instant confirmation that your application has been filed, an online tracking tool to track the status of your claim, and security features to ensure your sensitive information is safe.
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District Office:
1005 Beaver Grade Road, Suite 106, Moon Township, PA 15108 | Phone: (412) 262-3780, Fax: (412) 262-3783
Capitol Office:
Room 428, Irvis Office Building, House Box 202044, Harrisburg PA 17120-2044 | Phone: (717) 787-6651 |
Email: vgaydos@pahousegop.com