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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.
During the past several months, the House State Government Committee has been gathering information on our elections and the elections process in Pennsylvania. We can all agree that the election process must be held to the highest integrity. And that no legal voter should ever be denied the opportunity to cast a ballot. House Bill 1300, the Voting Rights Protection Act, will make incredible strides towards increasing voter accessibility and transparency while at the same time improving election security in the Pennsylvania’s election process. Going forward there should never be any doubt who wins or loses elections. But most importantly, we must restore faith in the process for everyone.

The Voting Rights Protection Act would improve election uniformity among the 67 counties as required by the Pennsylvania Constitution, enhance certification processes for all machines used in elections, require signature verification using ballot scanning equipment for mail-in and absentee ballots, improve lists of registered voters and more.

To address issues raised by local election officials, the bill would allow earlier counting of mail in ballots, moving it from no earlier than 7 a.m. on Election Day to five days before Election Day. It would also move the last day to register to vote back to 30 days prior to an election, as it was before its recent shift to closer to elections.

The Voting Rights Protection Act includes all aspects of issues brought before the committee and will propel Pennsylvania’s elections into the 21st century, all while fixing fatal flaws and election security issues. We must be a leader in secure elections. The Voting Rights Protection Act thoughtfully achieves both initiatives while also respecting citizens’ right to vote.  The legislation now goes to the full House for consideration.

Valerie Gaydos
Gaydos Thanks You for Attending Her Shredding Event

Last weekend, Rep. Gaydos, Sen. Devlin Robinson and the Allegheny County Sheriff’s Office hosted a shredding event at the Moon Middle School. The attendance was excellent and Gaydos was pleased to see people taking advantage of shredding old documents and disposing of unused prescription drugs.

Remember, with identity theft such a pervasive crime, shredding any documents you have containing personal or sensitive information is the best defense.
Gaydos Applauds the TAG Match Champions From the 171st

Rep. Gaydos was honored to be able to watch the 171st Air Refueling Team take the title in the 2021 TAG Match championship at Fort Indiantown Gap at the Pennsylvania National Guard Adjutant General’s Combined Arms Match. Chief Master Sgt. Edward Altmeyer was the overall individual champion, and Staff Sgt. Nick Yackovich placed third. The 171st Air Refueling Wing is a unit of the Pennsylvania Air National Guard located at Pittsburgh International Airport. The TAG Match is an annual event that tests the participants’ marksmanship skills under timed conditions.

Pictured with me are (from left) Airman 1st Class Zachary Pagg; Senior Airman Noah Grice; Staff Sgt. Nick Yackovich; Chief Master Sgt. Edward Altmeyer; Tech Sgt. Shawn McCreary; and Master Sgt. Eric Moskal.
Gaydos Discusses Health Care at the Pennsylvania Leadership Conference


Last week, Rep. Gaydos participated in a panel discussion called “Health Care Reimagined” at the Pennsylvania Leadership Conference. She talked about House Bill 555, legislation she is sponsoring that would provide small companies the opportunity to pool together to get more affordable health care coverage for their employees. This was something that USED TO exist for small business until the Affordable Care Act took it away.

When small businesses group together, they are able to spread out the risk across the group and negotiate for discounted health insurance coverage the same way large businesses currently purchase health benefits on the group insurance market. Gaydos’ bill is currently with the House Insurance Committee for consideration.

Click here to watch her remarks.
Gaydos Supports Prohibiting Vaccine Passports in PA

The House Health Committee, of which Gaydos is a member, met this week to vote on Senate Bill 618, which would prohibit vaccine passports in Pennsylvania. The legislation passed the committee and she voted in favor of the bill.

During the meeting, she asked questions about mask requirements, vaccine mandates and commented about the lack of federal approvals of COVID vaccines. Click here to watch her remarks.

The bill now heads to the full House for consideration.
CASA of Allegheny County

Rep. Gaydos continues to stress that everyone has a part to play in protecting our youth: from parents to teachers and beyond, all of us have a shared responsibility to protect our most vulnerable population. The Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) Association is a program dedicated to promoting the best interest of abused or neglected children. CASA volunteers work with the most vulnerable members of our community to help these children to reach a better, brighter future.

Gaydos supports this organization. To read more about the program, click here.
Supporting Our Senior Citizens

In recognition of June as Elder Abuse Awareness Month, the House advanced several bills this week aimed at protecting our senior citizens.

The bills would allow a resident or legal guardian of a resident to place electronic monitoring devices in a room with appropriate notices and consent of the facility and other residents (House Bill 1428); give the attorney general’s office concurrent jurisdiction to investigate individuals who use their position of trust to financially exploit older adults and care-dependent people (House Bill 1429); establish abuse of social media by employees who post pictures of care dependent individuals without permission and categorize the crime as a misdemeanor (House Bill 1431); and extend protections of the institutional sexual assault statute to cover elders and other care-dependent persons who are assaulted by those who have the responsibility of providing care (House Bill 975).
Healthcare Heroes Bill Passes House

This week, legislation passed the House that would direct the Department of Human Services to establish a public awareness campaign to provide information regarding the programs and services available for first responders, health care workers and other frontline workers suffering from mental health issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Those issues include, but not limited to, post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, depression and substance use disorder.

A recent Washington Post-Kaiser Family Foundation poll found that as many as three in 10 health care professionals are considering leaving the profession, of which half of those are due to burn out. Burnout among nurses was common before COVID-19; the pandemic has only hastened it for many of them. The virus has caused many nurses to leave their units to pursue another career.

It is our responsibility to help them, to care for those who selflessly care for others. The bill now moves to the Senate for consideration.
Property Tax/Rent Rebate Deadline Extended Until Dec. 31

Older adults and Pennsylvanians with disabilities now have until Dec. 31 to apply for the state’s 2020 Property Tax/Rent Rebate program.

The rebate program benefits eligible Pennsylvanians age 65 and older; widows and widowers age 50 and older; and people with disabilities age 18 and older. The income limit is $35,000 a year for homeowners and $15,000 annually for renters, and half of Social Security income is excluded. The maximum standard rebate is $650, but supplemental rebates for certain qualifying homeowners can boost rebates to $975.

Claimants are encouraged to file their rebate applications online. Additional information, including how to apply online and how to access paper forms, can be found by clicking here.

Rebates will be distributed beginning July 1, as required by law. Claimants who already applied for rebates may check the status of claims online at www.revenue.pa.gov by clicking on the “Where’s My Property Tax/Rent Rebate?” link. Claimants may also call, toll-free, 1-888-PATAXES to check the status of their rebates.

Remember, there is no need to pay anyone for assistance in filing the application for this benefit. Just contact my office at 412-262-3780 and we will be happy to help!
Celebrating Juneteenth National Freedom Day

This Saturday, June 19, is Juneteenth National Freedom Day here in the Commonwealth and across the country. The holiday commemorates June 19, 1865, when union soldiers reached Galveston, Texas, the furthest point in the south, with news of the end of the Civil War. The holiday celebrates the emancipation of those who had been enslaved in the United States. For more information about Juneteenth, click here. For more information about Juneteenth, click here.
Join the Fight Against Spotted Lanternfly

Spotted lanternfly is an invasive species native to Asia that found its way to Pennsylvania back in 2014. It has now spread to just over half of our 67 counties, mainly in the east but spreading north and west.

If you see a spotted lanternfly, it's imperative to immediately report it online or via phone by calling 1-888-4BADFLY. This is especially important if you are not inside the quarantine zone.
And be sure to kill it to prevent further spread.

The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture and Penn State Extension are encouraging people to be even more proactive in the fight by installing “circle traps” that can be easy DIY projects or purchased from agriculture and nursery supply stores.

For more information about the devastating impacts of spotted lanternfly on PA agriculture, and how to help fight back against the invasive species, visit www.agriculture.pa.gov/spottedlanternfly.    
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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