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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 people spoke in May when they voted in the primary election to give the Legislature the ability to end prolonged declarations of Emergency. This week, I joined a majority of my colleagues in the General Assembly voting to end the COVID-19 disaster emergency declaration, effective immediately.

The termination closes the governor’s ability to make arbitrary rules. It also ends his ability to command people to stay at home. But most importantly it brings transparency and accountability back to the people of the Commonwealth.

The COVID-19 disaster emergency declaration has been in place since March 6, 2020, and has been renewed five times without specific measurable objectives. With the emergency declaration behind us, we can be focused on reviewing the hundreds of regulations that have been waived or suspended during the pandemic. Many of them were shown to be wholly unnecessary in the first place. The good news is that the pandemic gave us an opportunity to see where government can be more efficient, and we hope to make some of those government suspensions permanent.

As such, we passed legislation to keep many of the regulatory suspensions in place through no later than Sept. 30 so things like fully reimbursable telehealth appointments and many other waivers will remain in effect while we determine what changes should be made permanent.

Valerie Gaydos
Gaydos Shredding Event This Saturday!

With identity theft such a pervasive crime, shredding any documents you have containing personal or sensitive information is the best defense. There is still time, so gather up your old documents and they will be shredded for you.

Deputy Sherriff Joe Cirigliano from the Allegheny County Sheriff’s Department will be on-site collecting unused medication for project DUMP (Disposal of Unused/Expired Medications Properly).

Out and About in the 44th District

This week, the Sewickley Valley Historical Society and the Beaver County Historical Research and Landmarks Foundation unveiled the Sewickley Sign commemorating the passage of the Lewis and Clark Expedition along the Ohio River in 1803. The Historical Marker that was placed in Sewickley commemorates the trip through the treacherous “Woolery’s Trap” sections of the Ohio River. The trail now extends from Pittsburgh to the mouth of the Columbia River. The event was held at Riverfront Park in Sewickley.

Recently, Wabtec has officially moved into Neighborhood 91. The company celebrated by holding a grand opening event and tour of the facility. Wabtec is the anchor manufacturing tenant and the first company to take residence in Neighborhood 91. Speaking to us is Philip Moslener, corporate vice president of advanced technologies at Wabtec. Click here for more information about Neighborhood 91.

Congratulations to Avonworth Middle School on its fourth re-designation as a Pennsylvania Don Eichhorn Schools: Schools to Watch! This recognition goes to schools that are academically excellent by challenging all students, are sensitive to the unique developmental challenges of early adolescence, and are democratic and fair, providing every student with high-quality teachers, resources and supports. Click here for more on the program.

Pictured are (from left) Joe Kulik, Rep. Anita Kulik’s husband; Jim Scott, Rep. Gaydos’ legislative assistant; Bruce Vosburgh, director of the Don Eichorn Schools to Watch; Michael Hall, principal of Avonworth Middle School; and Avonworth students.
Honoring Those Who Served

Recognizing the dedication of the state’s veterans, the House this week approved a package of bills supporting those who served us and our country.  

The “For Those Who Served” package of bills would: increase the daily pay from $150 to $250 for the Veteran Service Organization Honor Guard Burial Details at our three national cemeteries (House Bill 1421); urge Congress to pass H.R. 1656, which would establish the “Treatment and Relief Through Emerging and Accessible Therapy for PTSD Act” (House Resolution 103); require funeral entities to notify the County Veterans Affairs director, within 96 hours, of the death of a veteran (House Bill 164); authorize veterans and their family members to be charged the in-state tuition rate for colleges and universities on the date of their deposit, rather than the current “first day of the semester” requirement (House Bill 941); establish the Veterans Outreach and Support Network Program (House Bill 995); add the Navy Club of the United States of America as a voting member of the PA State Veterans Commission (House Bill 1057); and designate the 45-mile portion in Pennsylvania of US Route 20 as the Pennsylvania Medal of Honor Highway (House Bill 1091).

The bills now go to the Senate for consideration.
Gaydos Supports Comprehensive Voting Rights Protection Bill to Increase Voter Access Unveiled

Following months of hearings by Rep. Gaydos’ colleagues from the House State Government Committee, House Republicans this week unveiled legislation to transform and improve Pennsylvania’s election process to restore the integrity of and trust in elections.

The comprehensive Voting Rights Protection Act (House Bill 1300) addresses several serious fatal flaws in the Commonwealth’s Election Code.

To increase voter access, the bill would allow for early in-person voting beginning in 2025; correct non-fatal defects on mail-in ballots, such as unsigned or undated ballots, which must be completed by 8 p.m. of Election Day; and give counties the option to use secure mail-in ballot drop boxes during specific times at secure locations. The bill also increases access for voters with disabilities.

In addition, the bill would allow mail-in ballots to be counted starting five days before the election and would tighten security by expanding upon Pennsylvania’s current voter identification law.

The Voting Rights Protection Act now goes to the House State Government Committee for consideration.
Gaydos Discusses Health Care at Pennsylvania Leadership Conference

On Friday, Rep. Gaydos was a guest speaker at the Pennsylvania Leadership Conference (PLC). She discussed affordable health care and association health plans.

Gaydos has been the prime sponsor for several health care bills. They include:

  •   House Bill 943 passed the House unanimously in March. The bill would allow pharmacists to disclose cost-related information to patients.
  •   House Bill 882 would create transparency in benefits, eligibility and costs for prescription drugs by requiring health plans and pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) to share certain information with enrollees and health care providers upon request. The legislation has been referred to the House Insurance Committee for consideration.
  •   House Bill 1331 would better support the work of tactical emergency medical services (EMS) providers.

Gaydos has also been a co-sponsor of numerous health care bills. She serves on the House Health Committee and is chair of the Cancer Caucus.

The PLC is an annual two-day conference organized by the Pennsylvania Leadership Council.
Bills to Protect the Unborn Earn House Approval

Recognizing that all life has value, the House approved two bills this week to better protect the lives of unborn children.

House Bill 1500 would prohibit the abortion of any child due solely to a diagnosis of possible Down syndrome. Under current Pennsylvania law, a woman can obtain an abortion prior to 24 weeks gestational age for any reason, except if the woman’s sole reason is to select the sex of the child. House Bill 1500 would expand that exception to prohibit aborting a child due solely to a prenatal Down syndrome diagnosis. The legislation also contains no restrictions on a mother obtaining an abortion in cases of rape, incest or personal endangerment.

House Bill 1095 would categorize the murder of an unborn child the same as any other murder for sentencing purposes. The legislation comes in response to a Pennsylvania Superior Court decision that reasoned in Commonwealth v. Hayes that the murder of an unborn child did not technically constitute “murder.”

Both measures await action in the Senate.
Protecting Second Amendment Rights

The House has approved a bill to better combat illegal local gun ordinances and regulations that threaten Pennsylvanians’ constitutional rights.

State law already prohibits municipalities across the Commonwealth from enacting their own gun laws, but some have chosen to break that law. House Bill 979 would deter implementation of illegal ordinances by holding offending jurisdictions financially responsible for attorney fees and costs, as well as any lost income, for a person who successfully challenges such an ordinance.

With more than 2,500 municipalities across the state, it’s important to ensure uniformity in our gun laws.

The measure now goes to the Senate for consideration.
Fighting for Victims of the Opioid Epidemic

The Commonwealth’s ongoing opioid epidemic has had a devastating impact on children born to parents with substance abuse disorders. This week, the House passed legislation that would identify strategies to support both the affected children and their families.

House Bill 253 would establish a task force to focus on the impact of the opioid abuse epidemic, focusing on ways to improve the safety, well-being and permanency of substance-exposed infants and other young children adversely affected by their parents’ substance abuse disorders.

The task force would be directed to identify strategies and make short- and long-term recommendations to prioritize the prevention of substance-exposed infants; to improve outcomes for pregnant and parenting women striving to recover from addiction; and to promote the health, safety and permanency of substance-exposed infants and other young children at risk of child abuse and neglect, or placement in foster care due to parental alcohol and drug abuse.

The bill now goes to the Senate for consideration.
Hunting Licenses Available Monday

Pennsylvania’s 2021-22 hunting licenses go on sale on this Monday, June 14. Licenses may be purchased in person from authorized license issuing agents  or online at www.huntfish.pa.gov.

According to the Pennsylvania Game Commission, hunters will have three Sunday hunting opportunities this year which now include more species:
  •   Sunday, Nov. 14, is open for: Pennsylvania’s statewide deer archery season; black bear archery season in WMUs 2b, 5b, 5c and 5d; statewide squirrel, pheasant, rabbit, grouse, bobwhite quail, crow and woodchuck season; AND to hunt coyotes, raccoons, foxes, opossums, striped skunks, weasels and porcupines.
  •   Sunday, Nov. 21, is open for: Pennsylvania’s statewide black bear regular firearms season; black bear archery season in WMUs 2b, 5c and 5d; deer archery season in WMUs 2b, 5c and 5d; statewide squirrel, pheasant, rabbit, grouse, bobwhite quail, crow and woodchuck season; AND to hunt coyotes, raccoons, foxes, opossums, striped skunks, weasels and porcupines.
  •   Sunday, Nov. 28, is open for: Pennsylvania’s statewide regular deer firearms season; extended bear season in specific WMUs AND to hunt coyotes, raccoons and foxes.

Please note, Sunday hunting opportunities were expanded to include small game and furbearer opportunities but does not include turkey or migratory bird species. More information about this year’s hunting and trapping seasons is available here.
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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