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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.
In today’s world, women may not always realize their potential, but once unleashed, they have a direct route to success. When they find themselves in a leadership role, their capability and abilities are undeniable.

Recently, I was honored to be invited to serve as a panelist at Rep. Bud Cook’s Women in Leadership Conference in the 49th District at California University of Pennsylvania. The first female Majority Whip of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives Donna Oberlander and Rep. Carrie Lewis DelRosso were other legislative panelists. We shared our stories and took questions on how we became state legislators and the challenges we face as women in a man’s world. Other panels included successful females from the trades and other industries.

Click here to view my story.

In 2019, the proportion of women in senior management roles globally grew to 29%, the highest number ever recorded. In 2020, this percentage remained the same.

My message to hard-working women: encourage one another. If you make your way to a leadership position, mentor the other women in your organization and allow their creativity and abilities to be put to good use.

Valerie Gaydos
Out and About!

HUMANE ACTION Pittsburgh is celebrating six years of community partners in animal protection. This week, Rep. Gaydos was invited to their Humane Action Heroes Award Dinner. Gaydos tells us that as an animal owner, it is very important that we support this outstanding organization to put an end to animal cruelty.

Recently, Rep. Gaydos joined Rep. Anita Kulik as they spent time at the Sewickley Valley YMCA learning about the struggles parents face finding affordable child care. Parents told them how lack of child care access impacts their families, and YMCA officials outlined the financial challenges child care centers face. Gaydos and Kulik will share what they have learned with their colleagues in Harrisburg. The representatives both feel that discussions on this issue are needed sooner rather than later.

Recently, Rep. Gaydos visited the Witness to History exhibit at the State Museum in Harrisburg. The exhibit featured Colonel Paul Evanko’s handwritten field notes from the morning of Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2001.

Evanko, then head of the Pennsylvania State Police, donated these unique documents to the Pennsylvania State Archives in 2016. The display details the rapid unfolding of events and offers a minute-by-minute accounting of decisions made to secure the crash site and protect Pennsylvanians.

The exhibit will be on display through Sunday, Jan. 2, 2022. A video of Evanko talking about the events is available here.
Hearing to Discuss Governor’s Executive Order

This week at a meeting of the House Commerce Committee, Rep. Gaydos, a member of the committee, questioned Secretary Dennis Davin of the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development about the administration’s latest efforts to go around the Legislature to increase minimum wage.

Click here to listen to Gaydos’ questions and concerns to Secretary Davin.

Last month, Gov. Tom Wolf issued an executive order mandating wages of at least $13.50 per hour for any business that receives grants, loans or tax breaks from the state. The same order also requires companies receiving assistance to offer paid sick leave. You can read the full text of the order here.
Gaydos on the Air Waves Talking About Our Election System

Rep. Gaydos feels that free and fair elections are the foundation of our system of government. Recently, she sat down with House State Government Committee Chairman Seth Grove of York County to discuss his and the committee’s work in developing the Voting Rights Protection Act.

Click below to watch the program.

Click here to view video.
Gaydos Says Enjoy Hunting Season, Stay Safe!

Each year Pennsylvania issues more than 1 million hunting licenses. With so many hunters in the field, safety is a top priority.

Rep. Gaydos is an avid outdoors person. She has some safety tips during the hunting season.

Click below to watch.

Click here to view video.
State Government Committee Advances Election Reform Bills

The House State Government Committee continued its efforts to modernize and secure Pennsylvania’s elections with passage of three key reform measures this week.

House Bill 1482 would establish a Bureau of Election Audits within the office of Auditor General and require the Commonwealth and each county to implement a post-election audit using an approved auditing method.

House Bill 2044 would end private funding, such as that awarded last fall through the Center for Tech and Civic Life, for the administration of elections in the Commonwealth.

Senate Bill 738
would require the Department of State to post to its website a tracker for the public to monitor every step and action item the department is taking to ensure proper compliance to carry out a proposed constitutional amendment.
School Masking Update

This week, Commonwealth Court ruled the Wolf administration’s school mask mandate invalid after finding that the acting secretary of Health did not follow proper protocols in issuing the mandate. The court’s decision came while considering a challenge to the mandate.

The ruling reaffirms no unelected government bureaucrat should have the sole and unilateral authority to issue open-ended orders.

The administration has already announced it plans to file an appeal to the decision, which unfortunately means the mask mandate will stay in place until the appeal can be heard.
Ironically, the administration announced earlier this week it would lift the school mask mandate Jan. 17, 2022.

Rep. Gaydos has stated on numerous occasions that this is about whether or not each branch of our state government and the officials who work in those branches will follow the law and respect our Constitution’s design that directs the legislative branch to make the laws that govern our people.
House Adopts Bills to Support Mental, Physical Health
Recognizing the strong connection between good mental health and good physical health, the state House this week approved two bills aimed at improving Pennsylvanians’ overall health outcomes. 

House Bills 1561 and 1563 would amend the Mental Health Procedures Act and the Drug and Alcohol Abuse Control Act to allow for sharing of patient information among providers, facilities and insurers. The changes would also meet existing Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) requirements to ensure patient confidentiality. Most importantly, they would give doctors and other medical providers access to all of the information they need to properly treat their patients.

The bills now go to the Senate for consideration.
House Advances Bill to Give Families More Education Options

Recognizing that education is not a one-size-fits-all solution for every child, the House this week advanced legislation that would give parents and students the ability to design a more individualized educational model.

House Bill 1041 would permit home education students to attend up to four academic classes during a school day and participate in co-curricular activities, such as marching band, as well as have access to programs offered at career and technical education centers.

Enabling parents to supplement their children’s home education courses with classes offered by their local public school, as well as to participate in co-curricular activities, would maximize the academic potential for those children.

House Bill 1041 now goes to the Senate for consideration.
Congressional Redistricting: Submit, Draw Maps

As part of efforts to make sure all Pennsylvanians are heard in the most transparent congressional redistricting process in the state’s history, PaRedistricting.com now boasts a new feature that allows residents to draw and submit their version of congressional district maps. Users can choose to make their maps available for public viewing and comment.

The new tool will be live until Friday, Dec. 3. Residents can access the feature by clicking on the “Provide Input” tab at PaRedistricting.com. Users can also view previously held hearings, read testimony and sign up to receive updates.

To date, the House State Government Committee, which is tasked with creating new congressional district maps, has held 11 hearings, including eight regional hearings in various parts of the state to receive input from residents.
Applications for Boating Grants Available Now

The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) is offering the next round of Boating Facility Grants to help communities capitalize on the surge in new boating activity.

The Boating Facility Grant program provides grants for planning, acquisition, development, expansion, and rehabilitation of public boating facilities located on the waters of the Commonwealth.

The PFBC encourages townships, boroughs, and municipal and county governments to apply. Nonprofit groups (501c3) including land trusts, conservancies, and watershed associations are also eligible to apply. Private businesses and service clubs are not eligible for direct funding but are encouraged to partner with their local county or municipality.

Applicants can seek grants for site acquisition, development, expansion, prevention of the spread of aquatic invasive species, and rehabilitation of recreational boat access facilities.

Eligible construction projects may include, boat ramps, courtesy floats, restrooms, access roads, parking areas and signs. Funds may also be used to make facilities ADA compliant. Funding requests require a 50% match. To apply click 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