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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.
I guess Gov. Wolf read the polls and is now changing his tune because more than 70% of Pennsylvanians approve of Voter ID. Better late than never? Perhaps! But after vilifying Voter ID for weeks following his veto of legislation, then stating that Voter ID provisions are “reasonable,” Gov. Wolf says he is open to some stricter measures, including requiring ID for mail voting. You can follow the story by clicking here.

Changes are important and improvements are needed, but flip-flopping creates more confusion. The Voting Rights Protection Act (House Bill 1300) included a voter identification requirement and was on his desk just a few short weeks ago. He vetoed the legislation.

The Voting Rights Protection Act also included measure to improve how our elections are handled, such as permitting counties to count mail-in ballots before election and would have allowed for early in-person voting. People deserve transparency and House Bill 1300 provides it.

Valerie Gaydos
Congressional Redistricting Hearing

Fulfilling the commitment to a fair and transparent congressional redistrict process to ensure all Pennsylvanians are fairly represented in the U.S. Congress, the House State Government Committee held its first public hearing on the issue on Thursday.

It is a constitutional requirement that the number of congressional districts allocated to each state must be reapportioned following the decennial census. This is to take into account population shifts among states to ensure the most equal representation possible. That has occurred and Pennsylvania has again lost one congressional district as our population has grown at a much slower rate than that of other states. With the loss, Pennsylvania will have 17 congressional seats next year.

During the opening session, members heard an overview of the redistricting process. You can learn more about why the process is so important by watching this short video.

Additional hearings are planned through the end of summer and early fall in locations across the Commonwealth. Details about the schedule are available at PARedistricting.com. The same website gives Pennsylvanians the ability to submit public comments and will eventually also enable you to submit your own proposed congressional district maps.

Every 10 years, information collected through the U.S. Census determines the number of congressional representatives each state is entitled to based on population. States are responsible for redrawing the geographic area of their congressional districts to ensure equal and fair representation, and the physical manifestation of the constitutional principle, “one person, one vote.” This process is commonly referred to as redistricting.

For more information, visit PARedistricting.com.
Gaydos to Host Veterans Outreach Hours

Make plans to attend veterans outreach hours at Rep. Gaydos’ Moon Township district office. You can view the times and dates below.

During these special hours, a veterans outreach specialist from the Pennsylvania American Legion will be available to meet with local veterans and assist them with issues they may be having accessing benefits and services from the U.S. Veterans Administration.

If you have questions or concerns, this will be a great time to stop by and talk face-to-face with someone who can help you navigate the complex Veterans Administration’s system.

PA Budget Matters to You! Protecting Against Higher Costs

In late June, the General Assembly passed and the governor signed the 2021-22 state budget into law. Over the next couple weeks, I’ll share more details about the plan and how it meets today’s needs while also planning for the future.

The largest expense in our annual state budget comes from our human services programs. In this year’s budget alone, we are investing $17.3 billion in Medical Assistance, programs to support people with intellectual disabilities and autism, child care services, homeless assistance, services for the visually impaired and more. That spending represents an 11.7%, increase over last year.

While some of these increases are the result of federal mandates, others are due to new programs created by the Department of Human Services (DHS). As a result, there are consistently cost overruns in the department that must be paid through “supplemental appropriations” at the end of each fiscal year. To help stop this from happening, we included language in a budget-related bill known as the Fiscal Code to prevent DHS from creating new programs that are funded by the General Assembly.

Learn more about the budget here.
Bills to Curb Human Trafficking, Protect Victims Now Law

In June, Rep. Gaydos’ human trafficking legislation became law. Act 45 of 2021 (House Bill 1147) will expand the list of sexual offenses that require offenders to attend and participate in a Department of Corrections program of counseling and therapy designed for incarcerated sex offenders.

Three additional bills supported by Gaydos and adopted by the House earlier this year as part of a package of measures designed to combat human trafficking have been signed into law.

Act 32 of 2021 will prohibit defendants in human trafficking cases from introducing evidence of a victim’s past sexual victimization or allegations, ensuring victims of this horrible crime have the same protections provided to victims of other sexual abuse offenses outlined in the Rape Shield Law.

Act 38 of 2021 will add human trafficking and strangulation to the list of convictions affecting a child custody determination. Prior law already paid special attention to violent offenses such as homicide, sex offenses and kidnapping. With one in seven children reported missing becoming victims of child sex trafficking, the goal of this law is to prevent more children from suffering the same fate.

Act 45 of 2021 will expand the list of offenses that require state inmates to participate in Department of Corrections counseling or therapy for sex offenders to include those convicted of human trafficking involving sexual servitude or other criminal offenses involving sexual abuse of a minor. Studies funded by the U.S. Department of Justice have demonstrated that participants in sex offender treatment programs are significantly less likely to be rearrested upon their release.

Human trafficking is defined as the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring or receipt of people through force, fraud or deception, for forced labor or sexual exploitation. Human trafficking frequently victimizes women and children and is the second largest criminal enterprise in the world. It is also one of the fastest growing and it is happening right here in Pennsylvania.

If you or someone you know is the victim of human trafficking, call the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888 or text 233733.
College Savings Program Boasts Record Year

The PA 529 College Savings Program had its best year ever in 2020-21! According to the state Treasury, more than 25,000 new PA 529 accounts were opened in the past year, while bringing in more than $732 million in total contributions. These numbers are the largest in the program’s nearly 30-year history. Learn more about the program and its benefits here.
Do You Have Unclaimed Property?

The Pennsylvania Treasury is working to reunite Pennsylvanians with more than $4 billion in unclaimed property.

Property such as uncashed checks and abandoned bank accounts, stocks or safe deposit boxes are turned over to Treasury after three years of dormancy or inactivity, or two years for payroll checks.

Treasury recently completed the first major upgrade to the unclaimed property system in more than 15 years, making it easier than ever for Pennsylvanians to claim what is theirs – you do not have to pay anyone for this service! Click here to see if you, your family or your friends are owed unclaimed property. The average claim is worth about $2,000.

In the meantime, here are a few simple steps you can take to make sure your property doesn’t end up at Treasury:
  •   Keep financial institutions informed of any address changes.
  •   Communicate with your financial institutions at least once every three years.
  •   Create and keep up-to-date records of bank accounts, stocks, life insurance policies, safe deposit boxes and all other financial information.
  •   Let a family member or trusted advisor know where you keep financial records.
  •   Cash or deposit all checks as you receive them.
PennDOT Winter Employment Program

PennDOT is preparing for cooler temperatures by gearing up for its winter maintenance program, which will run from September through April to supplement the permanent workforce.

Paid hourly rates are:
  •   Transportation Equipment/CDL Operator ($17.05 - $19.24, based on location)
  •   Diesel & Construction Equipment Mechanic ($20.40 - $21.70, based on location)
  •   Auto Mechanic ($18.08)
  •   Semi-Skilled Laborer ($16.05)
  •   Tradesman Helper ($16.05)
  •   Welder ($18.08)
  •   Radio Dispatcher ($14.25)
  •   Custodial Worker ($14.25)
  •   Stock Clerk ($14.25)

Anyone wishing to apply should visit www.employment.pa.gov and go to the PennDOT Winter Maintenance Program posting under the "Open Jobs" section of the website.
Let's Get Connected

Our District

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Office Locations
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