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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.

Recently, I was pleased to participate with Sen. Devlin Robinson (R-Allegheny/Washington) in a special grant presentation to the Ohio Township Volunteer Fire Company (OTVFC).

During Community Day at Ohio Township Community Park, State Farm Insurance Company presented OTVFC with a check for $7,500 that will be used for fire prevention education throughout the township.

It is nice to see that we can come together during a pandemic and safely work side-by-side for the betterment of our communities.

I commend our local fire companies. Firefighters serve us every day and relationships between fire companies and their respective communities are a critical alliance.

Pictured with me are (from left) Sen. Robinson; Jennifer Johnsen-Nazareth, agent from State Farm Insurance; Justin Klingenberg, fire chief of Ohio Township Volunteer Fire Company; and Rob Wible, president of Ohio Township Volunteer Fire Company.

It is always an honor to have John Tucci or “The Tuch” lead the pledge of allegiance and sing the national anthem at the opening of Community Day. Sen. Devlin Robinson and I asked Tuch to share what the American flag means to him. It was great to see community members out and about sharing these community values. Click here to watch.

Valerie Gaydos
Water Withdrawal From Big Sewickley Creek


A group of concerned residents has collected information regarding PennEnergy Resources’ intent to withdraw millions of gallons of water per day from Big Sewickley Creek, a low water volume creek. Click here to read all about it. However, many questions remain unanswered.

Penn Energy Resources LLC has not yet been approved for water withdrawal. Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) did not approve the initial application. Penn Energy Resources LLC was sent a letter of deficiency of required requested information needed to complete their application for water withdrawal. They have 30 days to submit. Their application will be reviewed by the DEP and the Wolf Administration for approval.

Having grown up and now residing in the Quaker Valley, Rep. Gaydos knows how valuable the Big Sewickley Creek is to the community. In addition, she feels that we all need to be good stewards of our air and water.
Gov. Wolf Says Positive Progress Made in Vaccine Rollout

Law Would Ensure Caregivers Access to their Loved Ones

Too many long-term care residents died alone or experienced a significant decline in their physical and mental well-being as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic isolation.

As a former emergency medical technician, and the sole caretaker for her mother after she was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, Rep. Gaydos feels long-term residents should never be denied visits from those who care about them the most.

In response to the forced isolation of long-term care residents from their loved ones during the pandemic, we have adopted a new state law to ensure this tragedy does not happen again.

Act 67 of 2021 will safely allow family members to visit long-term care facilities as essential caregivers for our most vulnerable citizens. Mirroring regulations already successfully implemented in Minnesota and Indiana, the law amends the Pennsylvania Health Care Facilities Act to allow a designated essential family caregiver to be named for each resident of a licensed long-term care facility during a declaration of disaster emergency.

This law recognizes the importance of a holistic approach to caring for these residents in emergency situations.
Gaydos Discusses Mask Mandates

The COVID-19 pandemic has been challenging to many businesses and schools in many ways. During the reopening process, there have been many challenges and questions regarding executive regulations and mitigation plans that may be in effect.

Rep. Gaydos has composed and sent letters to businesses and schools. Her goal is to be a guide through this process and to hopefully answer any concerns.

Click here to read Gaydos’ letter sent to the Verland Foundation in Sewickley.
Immediate Action Needed to Stop Wave of UC Fraud

With reports of unemployment compensation (UC) fraud skyrocketing across the Commonwealth, Rep. Gaydos fully supports her House colleagues who drafted a letter calling for the immediate creation of a multi-agency task force to put a stop to this rampant criminal activity.

In a letter to Attorney General Josh Shapiro, Auditor General Tim DeFoor, Treasurer Stacy Garrity, Labor and Industry Secretary Jennifer Berrier and Secretary of Revenue C. Daniel Hassell, concerns were expressed about the financial cost of the fraudulent activity, as well as the growing risk for identity theft and the impact on unemployed workers with a legitimate claim who are not being served.

The multi-agency task force would be charged with hunting down the criminals committing this fraud, implementing antifraud technology and procedures, auditing the UC processes during the pandemic, and determining how much tax money is being wasted processing false claims and being stolen by fraudsters.

Gaydos feels the unemployment system has been nothing short of a nightmare since the governor shut down businesses at the start of the pandemic back in March 2020. While fraud has been a concern throughout the pandemic, the volume of cases has risen significantly since the administration launched a new UC system earlier this summer.

Read the full letter here.
Hearing on Economic Recovery, Job Growth in Western PA

During a House Majority Policy Committee hearing at Chatham University in Gibsonia, Rep. Gaydos joined her colleagues as business leaders and educators discussed boosting job opportunities, workforce development and economic growth in western Pennsylvania. The testifiers talked about what is being done to help our economy thrive and what still needs to be done to ensure our continued growth. Gaydos says that we need to rid ourselves of the policies that hinder job creation and instead facilitate job growth.
Committee Hearing on Improper Payments

In light of recent news of taxpayer money mismanagement by the Wolf administration, some of which have been happening for years and will cost taxpayers an exorbitant amount of money, the House State Government Committee held a hearing on wasteful government spending and improper payments.

Recently, the House took steps to address the issues when it passed three bills, all of which are now in the Senate for consideration.

House Bill 104 would require state agencies to review their programs and expenditures, assess how susceptible they may be to improper payment, and address any risks to ultimately prevent such payments. The Office of the Budget would then be required to maintain this information on a publicly accessible website.

House Bill 108 would create a “do-not-pay” initiative to monitor improper payments across Commonwealth agencies. Specifically, any agency that makes payments by expending federal funds would be required to enter into a memorandum of understanding with the United States Treasury Department to join the federal do-not-pay program.

When improper payments do occur, House Bill 39 would help ensure we get that money back. It would require the Secretary of the Budget to establish a review schedule of a Commonwealth agency that has $50 million or more in payments to individuals, vendors or entities for improper payments and payment recovery by contracting with an auditor to perform a recovery audit.

To watch the full hearing, click here.
PA Budget Matters to You! Protecting Our Most Vulnerable Citizens

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

Recognizing the ongoing costs related to COVID-19 mitigation, this budget allocates $282 million in federal relief funds to help nursing homes, assisted living and personal care homes with costs related to personal protective equipment (PPE), staff testing and other pandemic-related costs.

The budget also continues our work to take care of our citizens in need of support by funding services for an additional 832 people living with intellectual disabilities, as well as home and community-based services to 501 additional older Pennsylvanians.

Finally, a new dedicated funding source is established to provide $9.3 million in Tobacco Settlement Fund dollars annually for pediatric cancer research.

Learn more about the budget here.
PennDOT Seeking Workers for Winter Maintenance Program

While we are still feeling the summer heat, 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.

Positions and paid hourly rates are as follows: transportation equipment/CDL operator ($17.05-$19.24, based on location); diesel and 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); and stock clerk ($14.25).

Anyone wishing to apply should visit employment.pa.gov and go to the PennDOT Winter Maintenance Program posting under the “Open Jobs” section of the website.
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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