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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.
We must put an end to Gov. Tom Wolf’s no-bid contracting during a pandemic. Along with my House colleagues, I am fighting hard to put a stop to it.

As the chair of the House Cybersecurity Caucus, I warned of the dangers of the Department of Health entering into a no-bid contract with a contact tracing development company based in Ireland. Unfortunately, the warnings about the dangers of circumventing checks and balances during a disaster declaration have come true. it appears that breaches are not just limited to health.

In the wake of revelations of a data breach impacting more than 70,000 Pennsylvanians who were contact traced for COVID-19, I am calling for an immediate, independent investigation into how this happened and why it was not addressed sooner by the Wolf administration.

A WPXI-TV/Target 11 investigation that aired last Thursday revealed Pennsylvanians’ personal information was unsecured and accessible on the internet after they answered calls from employees of Insight Global, which was awarded a no-bid contract by the Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH) to conduct contact tracing.

DOH officials have said they will not renew Insight Global’s contract, which has netted the company nearly $29 million, when it expires in July. I believe it should be terminated immediately.

Please click here to read more about my thoughts to this very serious issue.

Valerie Gaydos
Gaydos Votes in Favor of Saving Jobs, Restoring PA Economy

A top priority for Rep. Gaydos is to work to restore the state’s economy post-pandemic and ensure the availability of quality job opportunities. This week, the House approved several government reform measures.

The action comes on the heels of U.S. Steel’s announcement it was withdrawing plans for a $1.5 billion investment in western Pennsylvania due, in part, to permitting delays. These improvements were much needed, and it would have been one of the largest industrial investments in Pennsylvania. Gaydos feels the region will lose jobs and the chance to be a leader this again in the future.”

With the goal of making the Commonwealth a partner in ensuring compliance rather than a heavy-handed enforcer, House Bill 288 would require each state agency to designate an employee as its regulatory compliance officer. The officer would be accessible to businesses and organizations subject to regulations, working to explain requirements and resolve noncompliance issues before imposing penalties.

House Bill 72 would establish an enhanced review process for major regulations that impose a substantial cost burden on the Commonwealth.

House Bill 139 would reform the permitting process by requiring agencies to post information about the permits that they grant on their website, create an accessible tracking system for applicants to check the status of their applications and clearly state the legal authority that the agency relies upon when rejecting a permit application.

House Bill 950 would strengthen the system of checks and balances by empowering the General Assembly to initiate the repeal of any regulation currently in effect by concurrent resolution.
Gaydos Introduces Bill to Support Tactical EMS Providers

Marking National EMS Week from May 16-20, Rep. Gaydos has introduced legislation that would better support the work of tactical emergency medical services (EMS) providers.

As a former Emergency Medical Technician (EMT), Gaydos knows that these EMS personnel are highly trained ‘tactical’ paramedics that dedicate their time to assist in tactical law enforcement incidents such as active shooting incidents, hostage situations, high-risk warrant service and barricaded individuals.

House Bill 1331 would add tactical EMS providers to the definitions under Title 75 of the Vehicle Code to include a certified tactical EMS provider who is affiliated with and directly supports a county or regional municipal Special Emergency Response Team of a Pennsylvania State Police Special Emergency Response Team. The inclusion of these emergency responders in the definitions will allow tactical EMS providers to use emergency vehicle lights that deliver added safety while providing for the ability to rapidly respond to an incident in progress.

The legislation is now with the House Transportation Committee for consideration.
Governor’s COVID-19 Mitigation Orders – Except Masking – to be Lifted May 31

COVID-19 mitigation orders still impacting businesses and organizations across the Commonwealth will be lifted as of 12:01 a.m. Monday, May 31, the Wolf administration announced earlier this week.

Masking orders will remain in place until the Commonwealth achieves a vaccination rate of at least 70% of the population age 18 and older.
The governor’s disaster emergency declaration also remains in place. It was last renewed Feb. 19 for 90 days. It began on March 6, 2020.
Election Fraud is Out There

Election fraud is nothing new in Pennsylvania. Unfortunately, it does happen and could have an impact on election results as a single vote could determine the winner in a tight race.

See below of known instances of fraud in an interim report on Pennsylvania’s elections. You can read the report by clicking here. 

Information of known fraud cases can be found starting on page 42.

Voters to Decide Question on Fire Company Loans

In addition to proposed constitutional amendment questions, the May 18 primary election ballot features a referendum regarding low-interest loans for municipal fire and ambulance companies staffed with paid personnel.

The Commonwealth already has a loan program in place that was established in 1976 to provide funding support for volunteer emergency response organizations. The referendum simply asks voters if they support expanding eligibility for the program to include municipal fire and ambulance companies staffed with paid personnel. A “yes” vote would not result in additional debt for the state, as there is ample funding available now to support the need for loans.

The fund is self-sustaining and currently provides loans at 2% interest to volunteer first responder organizations. Funding may be used for upgrading or expanding fire stations, as well as purchasing emergency vehicles or equipment. Each organization is capped at three open loans at a time and must show unencumbered funds in the amount of 20% of the project.

If approved, it is estimated the referendum would result in 40 additional fire departments becoming eligible for loans from the fund. The bill placing the question on the ballot was approved unanimously by the House and Senate.
Commonwealth Financing Authority Grant Opportunities

The Commonwealth Financing Authority (CFA) currently has two grant programs open for applications. The Act 13 Program is currently receiving applications through May 31. The Act 13 programs include projects for abandoned mine drainage abatement and treatment; baseline water quality data; flood mitigation; greenways, trails and recreation program; orphan or abandoned well plugging; sewage facilities; and watershed restoration protection. Click here for more information.

The CFA Multi Modal Transportation Fund program is also currently open through July 31. This program is separate and distinct from the PennDOT Multi Modal Transportation Program and applicants wishing to apply to both programs must file two separate applications.

The link to the CFA Multi Modal guidelines is here.
Did You Know PA Has a Tick Testing Lab?

May is Lyme Disease Awareness Month! Did you know not all ticks carry Lyme disease? That’s great news, but how do you know for sure??

East Stroudsburg University offers free tick testing to analyze the type of tick, whether it’s carrying Lyme or other tickborne diseases, and even an estimate of how long the tick has been attached.

It’s easy to take advantage of free testing. Simply remove the tick by carefully pulling it straight out with tweezers and then placing it in a bag; order the tick test online; and then mail the tick and your receipt to the lab for free testing. Once the university receives the tick, you’ll have your test results within three business days.

To learn more or to order a tick test, visit www.ticklab.org.
G.I.R.L.s’ Night Out

Lena Hannah, ambassador for the Pennsylvania School Boards, founded a program 12 years ago called G.I.R.L.s’ Night Out. The goal is to help 8th grade girls transition from middle school to high school.

Leah asked me to participate in the program by sharing my thoughts to this question, what I wish I could tell my high school self.

Click here to watch my thoughts.

Good luck to everyone who will be entering high school.
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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