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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.

Earlier this month, I participated in the celebration of the Pan-Orthodox Hierarchical Divine Liturgy at Holy Trinity Cathedral in Pittsburgh, as well as the Centennial Gala program to commemorate the founding of the first diocese of the Serbian Orthodox Church in the United States and Canada.

Led by His Grace Bishop Irinej of the Eastern American Diocese of the Serbian Orthodox Church, the two-day celebration included Father Branislav Golic, priest of St. Elijah Serbian Orthodox Church in Aliquippa, the Honorable Royal Adjutant to His Royal Highness Crown Prince Alexander, Mr. Branko Terzic; His Excellency, Ambassador of the Republic of Serbia to the United States of America, Marko Djuric; and several other diocese of the Orthodox Church in America.

Adding to the importance of this celebration, our very own Quaker Valley resident and retired Edgeworth Elementary School Librarian Milana “Mim” Karlo Bizic was granted by Bishop Irinej the prestigious medal of the High Order of the Holy Despot Stefan Lazarevic for her lifelong endeavors in promoting educational and cultural values in our schools. Among many previous recognitions in her lifetime of teaching, Mrs. Bizic was recognized for her implementation of computers in elementary education, was a multi-year winner of the Apple Distinguished Educator Award while teaching in the Quaker Valley School District and was also named Woman of the Year in 1987 by the Sewickley Herald Newspaper for her many achievements on behalf of the children of the valley. Congratulations Mrs. Bizic!

On behalf of the House of Representatives and more than 20 of my House colleagues, I presented His Grace Bishop Irinej with an official House of Representatives recognition to mark the centennial of the founding of the first Diocese of the Serbian Orthodox Church, not only in my official capacity as state representative, but also as an Orthodox Christian and the granddaughter of two Orthodox priests who held great appreciation for the religious freedoms afforded to them in the United States. Thank you, America!


Valerie Gaydos
Happy Retirement

Congratulations to Chief Rich Manko on his retirement from the Sewickley Borough Police Department. Chief Manko, pictured in the middle, served on the force for 40 years. He began his distinguished career with the department in 1981 as a parole officer. Rep. Gaydos was honored to present him with a House of Representatives citation for his outstanding work and dedication.

David Mazza, pictured to the far left, will be taking over the duties as the new police chief.
Let’s Go Ryan!

The annual Army-Navy football game is coming up on Saturday, Dec. 11, at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ. Rep. Gaydos would like all of us to root for Quaker Valley native Ryan Jackovic, who is a wide receiver for Army. Prior to attending West Point, Ryan was a three-year letterman at Quaker Valley High School.
Quaker Valley Wins State Gold

Rep. Gaydos congratulates the Quaker Valley High School team for defeating Lewisburg to capture the PIAA Class 2A boys soccer championship.

Sophomore defender Nick Allan scored the winning goal on a penalty kick. The Quakers capped the season at 23-2 and won their third PIAA title in five years. The Quakers finished the postseason allowing just three goals in eight games.
Update: School Mask Order Lawsuit Continues

This week, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court granted the Department of Health’s emergency application to reinstate the mask order requiring masks inside our K-12 schools and childcare facilities pending further consideration of the court. So, for now, the mask order will continue past Saturday, Dec. 4.

The high court said its decision was not the last word and may be reconsidered after it hears an oral argument in the case on Wednesday, Dec.8.

On Wednesday, Nov. 10, Commonwealth Court sided with Sen. Jake Corman (R-Centre/Huntingdon/Mifflin/Juniata) who filed suit objecting to the masking order by the Acting Secretary of Health Alison Beam, which took effect in early September after rising coronavirus cases and concerns about the surge of the delta variant.

The Commonwealth Court majority said Beam lacked authority to require masks, that she did not comply with state laws about reviewing and approving regulations, and that the mandate was adopted without an existing disaster emergency declared by the governor.

The majority in the lower court said the state’s disease control law does not give health secretaries the authority to create new rules and regulations.

Rep. Gaydos will keep you up to date on the latest information. However, at the present time, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court says a statewide school mask mandate can stay longer, until the court makes a final decision.

In the meantime, stay safe. Please be reminded that this lawsuit is not about the efficacy of wearing masks. It is about the authority or not of government to make decisions and the process by which those decisions are made. Whether you support wearing masks in schools or not, we as citizens need to ensure that whatever decisions made are done with due process, which is a founding principle of as successful democracy.
Proposed Constitutional Amendments to Better Balance Branches of Government Advance

Continuing efforts to ensure no single person, authority or interest can outweigh the voices of the people of the Commonwealth, the House State Government Committee advanced two proposed amendments to the Pennsylvania Constitution to further restore the balance of power to our three-branch system of governing.

Under the amendment proposed in House Bill 2070, executive orders or proclamations issued by a governor that purport to have the force of law could not be in effect for more than 21 days, unless extended by concurrent resolution of the General Assembly.

Under the amendment proposed in House Bill 2069,legislation adopted by the General Assembly to disapprove a regulation would not need to be presented to the governor for his approval.

The measures now go to the full House for consideration. Since the two bills would amend the Pennsylvania Constitution, they would need to be approved by the General Assembly this session and again in identical form next session before voters would see the questions on the ballot.
Bill to Stop Wolf Bridge Tolling Plan Passes House

The House passed legislation to stop the current Wolf administration plan to toll nine bridges across Pennsylvania including the I-79 bridge in Bridgeville, and reassert the Legislature’s oversight of, and community involvement in, any future tolling plans.

The Public Private Partnership (P3) law adopted in 2012 authorized the establishment of such partnerships to assist in funding road and bridge repairs across the Commonwealth. However, the initial approval last fall by the P3 Board of the Pathways Major Bridge P3 Initiative failed to offer any specific information about the proposal, including which bridges would be affected.

Senate Bill 382 would void this proposal and prescribe a more open and transparent process for future P3 projects. Specifically, a detailed analysis would have to be developed prior to any consideration by the P3 board, and a 30-day public comment period would be held following publication of the project in the Pennsylvania Bulletin. Additionally, any P3 project that includes a user fee would require legislative approval.

The measure now returns to the Senate for further consideration.
Commerce Committee Advances Business Corporation Law and Related Provisions

As a member of the House Commerce Committee, Rep. Gaydos voted with a majority of her colleagues to approve House Bill 2057, legislation that would get Pennsylvania law more in line with the laws of other states, update the law to reflect court decisions, and better define the rights and relationships between the officers and directors of a corporation and the owners.

The legislation would make it easier to keep more efficient records of which companies are operating in Pennsylvania, which are still in business. It also adds efficiencies to such as waiving required board meetings during a state of emergency when board members and stockholders cannot meet and eliminating requirements for microfilm records by allowing other types of records. Most importantly, we added an amendment which removes annual report fees and lowers fees on reinstatement and statement of validation

House Bill 2057 now moves to the full House for consideration.
Important News from Duquesne Light Company

Starting Monday, Dec. 13, as part of the BI-Crescent Transmission Project, Duquesne Light Company (DLC) will begin replacing more than 100 transmission towers to upgrade aging infrastructure and increase capacity while maintaining safe and reliable service for customers.

These structures, originally built more than100 years ago, are located along a 14.5-mile stretch between DLC’s substations on Brunot Island and in Crescent Township.

The current transmission towers serve customers in Crescent, Moon, Robinson and Kennedy townships, as well as McKees Rocks and the City of Pittsburgh.

The new structures will be weathered steel monopoles, compared to the existing galvanized lattice steel towers. These monopoles come with several benefits, including:

  •   A much smaller ground footprint than the foundations required for a lattice steel tower.
  •   Reduced inspection and maintenance costs due to fewer bolted connections, fewer foundations to inspect and repair, and fewer steel members to replace.
  •   Stacked circuits that are farther away from trees and other potentially harmful vegetation.

Once construction begins, customers can expect occasional scheduled power outages. Ahead of any necessary outages, impacted customers will be notified in advance and are not expected to be without service for more than two hours at a time.
Bill Targeting Repeat DUI Offenders Passes House

Working to improve safety on our highways, the House recently adopted legislation that would increase penalties for people convicted of third or subsequent crimes of driving under the influence (DUI).

Specifically, the measure would increase the penalty for a third DUI offense to a third-degree felony, or a second-degree felony if the person has three or more prior offenses. It would also require consecutive, rather than concurrent, sentences for these crimes.

House Bill 773, also called “Deana’s Law,” is named after Deana Eckman, a 45-year-old Delaware County woman who was killed in a drunk-driving crash in 2019 by a man who had five prior DUI offenses.

The bill now goes to the Senate for consideration.   
An Update on Redistricting

In the weeks ahead, we will be looking at proposals to redraw the boundaries of Pennsylvania’s U.S. congressional districts, as well as those of the state House and Senate districts. The boundary changes are necessary to ensure fair and equal representation in state and federal government for all citizens.

Congressional and state legislative districts are required by the Constitution to be nearly equal in population. Every 10 years, in conjunction with the U.S. Census, the district boundaries are adjusted based on shifts in population to meet the “one person, one vote” principle.

While the goals are the same, the process for each type of redistricting is different. Here are a few quick facts to help explain:

Congressional Redistricting
  •   This represents the redrawing of districts served by members of the U.S. Congress.
  •   Pennsylvania’s population growth is slower than that of many other states. As a result, the Commonwealth will drop from the current 18 congressional districts to 17.
  •   Changes to congressional districts go through the typical legislative process. A bill must be introduced outlining the new district boundaries, and the bill must be passed by both the House and Senate in identical form. Then it goes to the governor for his approval or veto.
  •   The bipartisan House State Government Committee held hearings across the state to gather input from citizens and community leaders about congressional redistricting. The hearings and testimony are available at www.paredistricting.com.
  •   After collecting public input throughout the summer and fall, the committee is now reviewing the information as members work to develop a new map to reflect shifts in population and communities of interest.

State Legislative Redistricting
  •   This represents the redrawing of districts served by members of the state House of Representatives and state Senate.
  •   The number of state representatives and senators serving the Commonwealth will remain the same at 203 and 50, respectively.
  •   Changes to these districts are NOT subject to the typical legislative process but are instead developed by a Legislative Reapportionment Commission. The commission is comprised of the majority and minority leaders of the House and Senate, as well as a chairman who, this year, was appointed by the state Supreme Court. That chairman is Mark A. Nordenberg. He previously served as chancellor of the University of Pittsburgh.
  •   The commission has held hearings across the state to gather input from citizens and community leaders about state legislative redistricting. The hearing, testimony and other public input is available for review at www.redistricting.state.pa.us. You may also submit your feedback at the website.

The goal is to have this process completed in time for the May 2022 primary election, though delays in receiving Census data have slowed the process.
Spread Holiday Joy! Check Out These Events Coming to the 44th District

Sewickley Light-Up Night
is on Friday, Dec. 3, from 5-9 p.m., at the Sewickley Village. People of all ages can enjoy live stage performances, food vendors and food trucks, free horse-drawn carriage rides and much more. On Saturday, Dec. 4, from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., is the Santa Parade at the Sewickley Village. Following the parade, you can visit Santa in the Gazebo. And, on Dec. 5, 12 and 19, from noon to 4 p.m., there will be free carriage rides departing from Wolcott Park.

Clinton Park Christmas Lights Show is open until Monday, Jan. 3. The event will run from 5-10 p.m. The address is 600 Clinton Park Drive, Imperial. Founded in 1993, the Clinton Park Christmas Lights Show is a one-mile drive-through of light displays. The cost is $10 per carload, a portion of which is donated to charities and individuals in need.

Moon Lights Holiday Festival is Saturday, Dec. 4, from 5-7:30 p.m. at Moon Park. The address is 1350 Ewing Road in Coraopolis. The event will feature performances by local dancers and musicians, food trucks, craft vendors, games, and the big man himself, Santa Claus!

North Fayette Christmas Tree Lighting is Friday Dec. 3, at 6:30 p.m. in Donaldson Park. The West Allegheny High School Choir will perform. In addition, there will be refreshments, music, crafts and selfies with Santa!

Ohio Township Tree Lighting Celebration is coming on Tuesday, Dec. 7, from 5:30-8:30 p.m. at Ohio Township Community Park, 325 Nicholson Road, in Sewickley. Collection boxes from the Ohio Township Volunteer Fire Company for the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots program will be on-site during the event.
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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