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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 Pennsylvania Farm Show is a celebration of animals, equipment, entertainment and trade from the agriculture world. Agriculture is the top industry in our state, and it is essential that all of us support it.

I had the pleasure of attending the Farm Show last week. Some of my favorites included seeing 100 varieties of chickens, watching the 4-H kids show the animals they so proudly worked with all year, and I love maple sugar cotton candy. This year, I was very impressed with the lumberjack and rodeo events.

In addition, I visited my friend Will Stiltner of Black Dog Wine Company. Recently, it was announced that the new Moon Township Dog Park will be officially known as the Black Dog Wine Company at Moon Park.

Black Dog Wine Company is a boutique winery producing award-winning fine wines in the countryside of western Allegheny County.

I had a great time experiencing the sights and sounds of the Pennsylvania Farm Show. It is the largest indoor farm show in the nation and many exhibits prove how PENNSYLVANIA PRODUCTS RULE.


Valerie Gaydos
Gaydos Speaks on Reapportionment

The Legislative Reapportionment Commission (LRC) recently approved a preliminary House map by a 3-2 vote on Dec. 16. The LRC is still taking comments from the public. But the clock is ticking. “Corrections and exceptions” must be received by today (Jan. 18).

This week, Rep. Gaydos spoke on the House floor to ask the LRC to hear all the voices in our communities and to make the changes necessary to keep our communities of interest together. More specifically, I asked that the new maps not split Quaker Valley and Moon Township into three different House seats.

Watch my comments below:

Click here to view video.

As your state representative, Gaydos has learned that our communities are not always defined by government boundaries and that communities define or should be the ones to define their government and not the other way around. Focusing on what unites us, not what divides us is the strength of our representation. Keeping communities of interest together makes for stronger communities and enables state representatives to be more efficient advocates, stewards or champions for the communities represented.

Gaydos encourages everyone to voice your opinion so that the commission can make maps that best reflect our communities. Please be sure to make your comments specific and submit them by no later than today.

A final map is expected to be presented later this month.

How to Better Understand Redistricting

First and foremost, map making is not easy. When mappers find they can agree on one area, chances are there are other areas where they might not agree. A good state representative will make it all about the community and will fight for projects utilizing your tax dollars in a proper manner. That might be an oversimplification, but if more people understood that the job of a state representative is about people and communities, not national politics, we would have stronger, more well-funded communities.

Quaker Valley is a unique area because it is made up of 11 boroughs and municipalities. The state Constitution says to divide 203 House seats equally and divide by municipalities. This is where Quaker Valley is at a disadvantage. For the past 40 years, this area has endured four redistricting processes. The Quaker Valley community has often been the convenient dividing line where one or two boroughs go into one House seat going north and others have gone into a district which goes south, west or east. That is not fair to the residents if one tiny area shares no community or commonality with the rest of the district it is in.

The scenario is the same for Moon Township. If a few precincts of Moon Township go in one House district and the remainder go into another House district that could dilute the voice of the community. Both examples are like going on a playing field with half your team!

Gaydos and several of her colleagues presented this and more at a recent Legislative Reapportionment Commission hearing on redistricting. (The panel on which I presented is at 1 hour 26 minutes into the hearing).

Please write the Commission to voice your opinion. Please watch the opening remarks from Legislative Reapportionment Commission Chairman Mark Nordenberg to get a better understanding of this very complicated process before sharing your suggestions here.
House OKs Congressional Redistricting Map, Review of State Maps Ongoing

A revised map of the state’s congressional districts was approved by the House this week and now awaits action in the Senate

The new map is required as part of the redistricting process mandated by the U.S. Constitution. Using data collected through the U.S. Census every 10 years, districts across the country must be redrawn to be nearly equal in population to ensure fair and equal representation in Congress.

Census data shows Pennsylvania’s population growth is slower than that of many other states. As a result, the Commonwealth will drop from our current 18 congressional districts to 17.

To view the congressional map, visit www.paredistricting.com.

The Commonwealth is also required to redraw its state House and Senate districts based on data from the Census. Changes to these districts are NOT subject to the typical legislative process but are instead developed by a Legislative Reapportionment Commission. Details may be found here.
Bill Aims to Ensure Clarity, Efficiency in Patient Test Results
The House unanimously approved legislation this week to better ensure clear and timely communication to patients of their medical test results.

Currently, the Patient Test Result Information Act (Act 112 of 2018) requires imaging entities to directly notify the patient if the test results indicate significant abnormalities. Inconsistent interpretations of that term have led to unnecessary confusion and anxiety for some patients.  

House Bill 1280 removes the definition of “significant abnormality” from the law and instead requires diagnostic imaging entities to provide patients with written notice at the time of ANY imaging service. The notice shall state that the results of the test(s) will be sent to the ordering health care practitioner. If the ordering practitioner doesn’t reach out within 21 days or the electronic health records haven’t been updated, it is recommended that the patient follow up with the practitioner to discuss the results.

The bill now goes to the Senate for its consideration.
Gaydos Hosts Veterans Outreach Hours

Rep. Gaydos feels it is important that all veterans and their families in our area have convenient access to a veterans liaison who can provide personal service with helping them to resolve issues such as difficulties in obtaining benefits, answering questions regarding services and connecting them to available resources
Be on Alert for Unemployment Fraud

The Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry (L&I) has detected an escalation in fraudsters’ attempts to steal unemployment compensation benefits through increasingly aggressive and sophisticated schemes. An examination is under way to determine the source of these attacks and the precise methods fraudsters are using to intercept legitimate UC payments.

Pennsylvania’s system for filing UC claims uses numerous fraud-detection measures, including virtual identity verification vendor ID.me to verify the identities of all new unemployment applicants. Multi-factor authentication, a two-step process that will add an extra layer of protection, will be added for claimants.

Individuals can report suspected unemployment fraud by visiting the UC Benefits website and click on “Report Fraud” at the bottom of the page to complete and submit the identity theft form. Do not log in. To report identity theft fraud related to the federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program, please click here. To report fraud by phone, call the PA Fraud Hotline at 1-800-692-7469.
Perfect Attendance Recognized

One of the many duties of a state representative is to attend all House sessions so he/she can debate and vote on legislation that will benefit you.

During the 2021 calendar year, Rep. Gaydos participated, either in person or remotely due to the pandemic, in all 65 session days of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. Her record includes all 618 votes, including 338 bills on third consideration or concurrence, 24 resolutions, 205 amendments and 51 motions.

House Majority Whip Rep. Donna Oberlander was on hand to recognize Gaydos.
Jobs Available at PennDOT

PennDOT is looking to hire college students from May through August to supplement its permanent workforce.

The job typically entails seasonal maintenance work and sign upgrade services, maintenance and custodial services at roadside rest facilities, and laboring and flagging duties in maintenance organizations and highway worksites.

The hourly rate is $14.61. Interested applicants should contact my office by Friday, Feb. 18, and also apply online at www.employment.pa.gov to the PennDOT College Student Summer Worker posting under the Open Jobs section.
Free Tax Return Preparation

The IRS’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) programs offer free basic tax return preparation to qualified individuals.

The VITA program has operated for more than 50 years. VITA sites offer free tax help to people who need assistance in preparing their own tax returns, including:

  •   People who generally make $57,000 or less.
  •   Persons with disabilities.
  •   Limited English-speaking taxpayers.

In addition to VITA, the TCE program offers free tax help, for those who are 60 years of age and older, specializing in questions about pensions and retirement related issues unique to seniors.

VITA/TCE services are not only free, they are also a reliable and trusted source for preparing tax returns. All VITA/TCE volunteers who prepare returns must take and pass tax law training that meets or exceeds IRS standards.

Providers include:
  •   Robert Morris University
6001 University Boulevard
Moon Township
  •   Western Allegheny Community Library
181 Bateman Road
Does Your Home Contain Radon?

January is National Radon Action Month. An estimated 40% of Pennsylvania homes have higher levels of radon than national safety standards, due to the state’s geology. However, residents can perform a simple test to detect this gas, which is considered the second leading cause of lung cancer.

Radon is an odorless, invisible radioactive gas that occurs naturally from the breakdown of uranium in soil and rocks and enters homes through cracks in the foundation or other openings. High levels of radon tend to be found in basements, but the gas can be found anywhere in the home.

Winter is a good time to test for radon, because doors and windows are generally closed, providing more accurate results. Simple radon test kits are inexpensive and available at home improvement and hardware stores.

To learn more about radon and how to test your home, click here.
Let's Get Connected

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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