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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 Pittsburgh Airport Terminal Modernization Project will truly be the first and most advanced airport of tomorrow as the design of the new facilities will incorporate new technologies emerging from the region’s many creative centers of education and industry - and that is what makes this project so special.

This airport project will be a shining example of Pittsburgh pioneering with projects like the energy microgrid, which provides an independent electricity source to Pittsburgh International Airport. And, the surrounding development including Neighborhood 91, a global hub for 3D printing and advanced manufacturing.

During a groundbreaking ceremony, I was proud to be the guest speaker for the $1.4 billion project. The modernization of the airport involves construction of a new 700,000-square-foot terminal that will include ticketing, security checkpoints and baggage claim. An adjacent complex includes a new 3,300-space parking garage, rental car facilities and new roadways.

The new terminal is scheduled to open in 2025.

Click here to read my comments.

Valerie Gaydos
Gaydos Attends Ceremony at Duquesne University


Recently, Rep. Gaydos spent a great day at Duquesne University. The university is moving forward with the establishment of a College of Osteopathic Medicine, targeted to open and admit its first class in fall semester 2023. It will become the second medical school in Pittsburgh and the Catholic osteopathic medical school in Pennsylvania.

Gaydos said, “This is an exciting step forward for our region. It will attract students from across the country. Training highly qualified family doctors is directly aligned with their mission as a Catholic and Spiritan University.”

Duquesne currently has nine schools spanning business, education, health sciences, law, liberal arts, music, natural sciences, nursing and pharmacy.

Gaydos is pictured with Duquesne University President Ken Gormley.
Gaydos Supports DEP’s Decision to Deny PennEnergy Resources’ Request to Draw Millions of Gallons of Water Per Day from Big Sewickley Creek

State environmental regulators have denied an energy request to draw up to 3 million gallons of water a day from the Big Sewickley Creek for fracking. Concerns have been raised about how it would impact the waterway’s wildlife, which includes trout and the Southern Redbelly Dace, which is a threatening species in Pennsylvania.

To read the article from TribLive.com click here.

Rep. Gaydos is in agreement with her House colleague, Rep. Rob Matzie (D-Beaver/Allegheny). They are both pleased with the denial. The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) noted seven areas of concern and deficiencies in the application by PennEnergy Resources to draw water from the Big Sewickley Creek.

PennEnergy has 30 days to appeal the DEP’s decision.
A ‘Common Question’ From Voters in the 44th District

Rep. Gaydos has received numerous inquiries about our current state of elections. A frequent question that she receives is: “I received a mail-in ballot application in the mail, but I never requested one. What should I do?”

Gaydos has done her homework and has talked to many election officials including David Voye, division manager of the Allegheny County Elections Division. Here is the answer to this question.

Many voters have been surprised to find mail-in ballot applications in their mailboxes this election cycle even though they never requested them. In a year when election security is at the forefront, some may find these unsolicited forms unnerving or suspicious.

Unlike some states, Pennsylvania does not send out unsolicited mail-in ballots or ballot applications to voters. Normally, anyone who wants to vote by mail needs to apply online, download the application and mail it in or go to their local elections office and pick up the form. Online voter applications can be found at www.votespa.com.

As an added precaution, residents can contact their local election office if they receive a mail-in ballot they didn’t request or receive a mail-in ballot application sent to someone who no longer lives at that address.

To report a ballot that came to you accidentally or isn’t meant for you or anyone in your household, please contact your County Election Officials. You can also contact your County Elections Officials for questions related to your polling place, when or where an election will be held and other election related information.
Protecting Your Private Personal Information

Rep. Gaydos was proud to join with 51 of her House colleagues in sending a letter to Pennsylvania’s congressional delegation, urging them to push back against the current administration’s proposed dictate to require financial institutions to report all transactions from accounts holding more than $600 to the IRS.

Gaydos feels is just another example of intrusive and reprehensible overreach by the federal government that has no place in our constitutional republic.

To read the letter click here.
Gaydos Reminds Constituents About Medicare’s Open Enrollment Period

Do you have questions about Medicare? Medicare’s Annual Open Enrollment period will run through Tuesday, Dec. 7. This is a time when you can enroll or change your Medicare Advantage Plan or Prescription Drug Plan.

As a resident of Allegheny County, you are entitled to free Medicare counseling through PA MEDI. It is a state funded program that is administered by Wesley Family Services, a local non-profit organization located in New Kensington. They work in partnership with Allegheny County Area Agency on Aging.

Call 412-661-1438 or email PA.MEDI@wfspa.org to make an appointment.
Bills to Aid Missing Persons Cases Passes House

The House has adopted two bills designed to address missing persons cases 

House Bill 488 would update the offense of endangering the welfare of a child to include cases in which a parent, stepparent or other guardian of a child fails to report that the child has gone missing within 24 hours. The legislation would make failure to report the disappearance of a child a third-degree felony, which carries a potential penalty of up to seven years in prisons. The measure was inspired by the 2008 disappearance of Caylee Anthony, a 2-year-old Florida girl who wasn’t reported missing by her mother until 31 days after she was last seen.

House Bill 930 would require the Pennsylvania State Police to turn over DNA samples of missing persons and unidentified decedents to the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NAMUS), a nationwide clearinghouse that went online in 2008. NAMUS has expanded in subsequent years by linking with other national databases and collaborated with the FBI in 2012 to add a fingerprint unit to its search capability. The goal of the legislation is to help bring closure to families who have lost loved ones.

Both bills are awaiting consideration in the Senate.
Minimum Deposit to Open a PA 529 Account Eliminated

The Pennsylvania Treasury recently announced that the minimum contribution to open a PA 529 College and Career Savings Program account has been eliminated.

Once a PA 529 account is opened, contributions can be any amount – as little as $1. This reduction marks the second time since July 2020 that the amount has been reduced and is less than the previous $10 minimum.

Contributions can be made to PA 529 accounts online via electronic bank transfer, through the mail by check or money order, or by setting up a simple automatic contribution from a bank or paycheck.

Saving with PA 529 offers account owners generous tax benefits and the flexibility to choose the plan that works best for their budget. Assets saved in PA 529 accounts have no impact on Pennsylvania state financial aid eligibility.

PA 529 accounts can be used to pay for more than just tuition, including fees, equipment, books, room and board, and other qualified higher education expenses.
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Veterans Administration (VA) cares about veterans affected by domestic violence (DV) and intimate partner violence (IPV). The VA Intimate Partner Violence Assistance Program (IPVAP) recognizes that DV and IVP are serious, yet preventable, public health problems that may disproportionately affect Veterans.

To help address the impact DV and IPV has on Veterans, family members and VA employees, the IPVAP promotes relationship health and wellness and supports healing and growth for those impacted by IPV.

This October, the IPVAP Domestic Violence Awareness Month theme is “Honor Relationship Wellness.”

Supportive and connected relationships are universal protective factors for physical and mental health for all people. Living in conflict reduces health and quality of life. For those impacted by IPV, healing and growth is critical to recovery. Healthy relationships can increase connection, trust and safety.

Rep. Gaydos is on the advisory board of STANDING FIRM: The Business Case to End Partner Violence as a resource to assist businesses in addressing partner violence in the workplace. STANDING FIRM — one of the only organizations in the nation dedicated to addressing partner violence as a workplace issue — alerts employers to the financial, safety, and human costs of PV in the workforce and provides employers with tools for taking effective organizational action.

The VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System VA IPVAP is available for help in the southwestern Pennsylvania region at 412-822-2359.
Heating Assistance Program Now Open

Residents who struggle with their home heating bills can now apply for assistance from the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).

LIHEAP is a federally funded program that helps individuals and families pay their heating bills through home heating energy assistance grants. It also provides crisis grants to help in the event of an emergency or if a resident is in danger of losing his or her heat due to broken equipment, lack of fuel or termination of utility service.

The income eligibility guidelines for LIHEAP are set at 150% of the federal poverty income level. For a household of four, the income limit is $39,750.

Due to the availability of funds through the federal American Rescue Plan Act, there will be an increase in the minimum LIHEAP cash grant from $200 to $500 and an increase in the maximum cash grant from $1,000 to $1,500. The maximum LIHEAP crisis grant will increase from $600 to $1,200. LIHEAP is distributed directly to a household’s utility company or home heating fuel provider in the form of a grant.

Residents may apply for LIHEAP online or by contacting the County Assistance Office in their county of residence. Click here for additional information. The program runs through May 6, 2022.

The Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) is also available in each of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties to help eligible tenants cover the cost of overdue or upcoming utility and rental payments. Pennsylvanians who are responsible for paying rent or utilities on a residential property, and have one or more people within the household who has experienced financial hardship during the COVID-19 pandemic that puts them at risk of homelessness or a utility shutoff, could be eligible for up to 18 months of ERAP assistance. More information is available at www.dhs.pa.gov/erap.
Drug Take Back Day This Saturday

This Saturday, Oct. 23, is National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, an event sponsored by the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) to help raise awareness and give citizens across the Commonwealth the opportunity to safely dispose of unused prescription drugs.

The reality is more than 50% of people who misuse prescription pain relievers get them from friends or relatives. Prescription and over-the-counter drugs are the most commonly misused substances by those 14 years of age and older, following marijuana and alcohol.

The Moon Township Police Department will be taking part in this national event between 8 a.m. and noon. Although the Take Back event is a nationwide awareness event this weekend, the drug disposal box is available in the police department lobby 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

For more information or for additional collection sites please visit DEATakeBack.com.
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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