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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.
Serving as the state representative for the people of the 44th Legislative District is an honor. Serving in the community in which I was born and grew up and where my family held their businesses is an even greater honor. As a result of the reapportionment of legislative districts, which occurs every 10 years, the existing 44th Legislative District will be adding the two communities of Leet Township and the Borough of Leetsdale, where I was born, and will enable all 11 boroughs and municipalities in the Quaker Valley School District to be united together into one House District.

In the spirit of keeping school districts together, Ohio Township will be removed from the existing 44th Legislative District and added to the 30th Legislative District which will enable all of the communities in the Avonworth School District to be united together into one House District. It will also unite Ohio Township with the Community of Franklin Park and Avonworth.

It has been an honor to represent Ohio Township for the last several years. I wish to thank the Ohio Township Board of Supervisors, Chairman Tom Beatty and Township Manager John Sullivan. In addition, I want to thank Police Chief Joseph Haney and his entire police force who will continue to serve areas of the Quaker Valley, as well as Fire Chief Justin Klingenberg and Assistant Chief Scott Penfield and all of the dedicated volunteer firefighters serving the residents of Ohio Township.

I will continue serving Sewickley Hills Borough and the surrounding communities.

Redistricting comes every 10 years so that the boundaries of the Commonwealth’s House and Senate districts are redrawn to reflect changes in population. Pennsylvania’s new map was drawn to equally divide the 203 House of Representatives and 50 Senate seats into new districts. Pennsylvania House seats are drawn with districts of approximately 64,053 people and the Senate with districts of approximately 260,004 people. The 44th District saw tremendous growth since the last U.S. Census in 2010 and prior to redistricting, the 44th District was representing more than 72,000 people. Hence, the need for change.

The new district will keep communities of interest together, will have less splitting of municipalities, and will encompass the three complete school districts of Moon, West Allegheny and Quaker Valley while reuniting Ohio Township with the rest of the communities in the Avonworth School District.

I will continue to serve all of the constituents in the existing 44th District through Nov. 30.

Please see the current and new map below.

My district office staff and I are here to help you. Please contact me at my office or online to share your thoughts and concerns, or for assistance with any state-related matter.

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Valerie Gaydos
Supporting Our Veterans

A big thank you to our veterans for their service to our community and country. Recognizing the needs of our current veterans and service members is a must.

The House voted to advance the following:

To show support for female veterans, Gaydos voted in favor of House Bill 2361, which designates June 12 as “Women Veterans Day,” as well as House Resolution 129, which would establish a Task Force on Women Veterans’ Health Care in Pennsylvania. The task force would study prominent issues facing female veterans, including post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury, military sexual trauma, and alcohol and substance abuse.

To assist veterans facing serious health issues, as well as loved ones who are caring for them, the House passed House Bill 1972 that would establish an adult day-care program to be known as “Community-Based Palliative Care” within the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (DMVA). The goal is to provide relief from pain and suffering for our veterans and improve both their quality of life and that of their loved ones who may be caring for them.

To highlight the service of active-duty personnel, House Bill 1486 would require the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation to issue a Blue Star Family license plate to family members who wish to signify that their loved one is serving to protect our country’s freedom.

To honor specific achievements, House Bill 1571 would create a special registration plate for recipients of the Air Medal. The Air Medal is a military decoration of the United States Armed Forces awarded for single acts of heroism or meritorious achievements while participating in aerial flights and foreign military personnel in combat.

Finally, nonprofits and veterans’ organizations are reminded of the June 1 deadline to apply for grants through DMVA’s Veterans Trust Fund. Funding is available to veteran service organizations with 501(c)(19) status and nonprofit organizations with a mission of serving Pennsylvania veterans granted 501(c)(3) status under the Internal Revenue Code. Funding priorities for applicants in this category are employment and education, behavioral health initiatives, and other programs or services that address unmet needs of veterans and their families. Additional information is available at www.vtf.pa.gov.
Memorial Day 2022

Rep. Gaydos joined American Legion VFW Post 402 in Coraopolis, and colleagues Sen. Devlin Robinson and Rep. Anita Kulik for the annual Memorial Day Parade along Fifth Avenue. The grand marshals’ this year were Coraopolis’ own WWII veterans, Bob Massamini (pictured above with Rep. Gaydos and Kulik) and Danny LaRocca. Gaydos thanked the Model A Ford club for providing the rides.

Rep. Gaydos was on the move during the recent Memorial Day holiday. She spent some time greeting people at the 129th Annual Sewickley Memorial Day Parade. Gaydos also took part in the memorial recognition at Wolcott Park that immediately followed the parade.

On Sunday, May 29, Rep. Gaydos was alongside members of Keith-Holmes Post 402 VFW, VFW Auxiliary and American Legion Post 924 to honor deceased veterans by performing commemorative services at some of the 12 cemeteries and honor rolls throughout the area. These services included tributes by the post and auxiliary officers, a salute by the color guard and rifle squad, and ended with a solemn rendition of Taps. Gaydos and Sewickley Mayor George Shannon honored the fallen servicemen and women at Wolcott Park in Sewickley.

Pictured (from left) are Rep Gaydos, Chris Smith, senior vice commander; John Radcliff, quartermaster; and Mike Blair, commander of VFW Post 402.
Tuskegee Airmen Honored

Were you aware that Sewickley was the home of the largest contingent of Tuskegee Airmen? Of the 90 men from western Pennsylvania, eight were from Sewickley.

Recently, Rep. Gaydos and Sewickley Mayor George Shannon joined the Masonic Allegheny Commandery No. 35 for the Sixth Annual Wreath-Laying Ceremony at the Sewickley Cemetery.

In addition, the Pittsburgh Fire Pipe and Drum Corps, American Legion of western Pennsylvania and Vietnam Veterans of western Pennsylvania, shared remarks about the fallen.

The Tuskegee Airmen Memorial at Sewickley Cemetery is the largest outdoor memorial of its kind in the United States.
House OKs Bill to Improve Behavioral Health Care Access

Reducing delays in care for patients with behavioral health needs is the goal of legislation passed by the House last week.

House Bill 1644 would create a Medicaid Care Transition Program to ensure hospitals, individual counties, the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (DHS) and managed care organizations communicate and coordinate care. They also would be required to create uniform policies and procedures to assist in transitioning these individuals out of the emergency room and into appropriate care settings where they will get the help they need.

Additionally, the legislation would require DHS to develop a standardized, timely process for placement of patients statewide who are enrolled in Medicaid and diagnosed with behavioral health or other long-term care needs.

House Bill 1644 also would implement accountability measures for Behavioral Health Medicaid Managed Care Organizations (BH-MCOs) by holding them responsible for the adequate level of and accessibility to health care they are being paid to provide for Medicaid patients.

The bill now goes to the Senate for consideration.
Law Aims to Attract More Doctors to PA

At a time when parts of Pennsylvania are suffering doctor shortages and patients are struggling to acquire treatment, a new state law aims to help attract more doctors to the Commonwealth.

Graduates of U.S. and Canadian medical schools currently must complete two years of training through an approved residency program to apply for a medical license. However, international medical graduates are required to complete an extra year of training before they become eligible to apply for the same medical license.

Act 16 of 2022 will level the playing field so international medical students can apply for their medical license after two years of training. This will remove an unnecessary burden that is negatively impacting the number of medical professionals who can practice in Pennsylvania.

The law took effect when it was signed by the governor in late April.
Grand Opening Celebration


Recently, Rep. Gaydos was the guest speaker for the ribbon cutting and grand opening of the Montour Run Trail Bridge, Montour Woods Greenway.

The 210-foot bridge was funded through $625,000 in grants from the state, county and local sources. It will link the Montour Trail, America’s longest suburban bike trail (46 miles) to Moon Park through the Montour Woods Greenway.

The trail bridge project of Hollow Oak Land Trust is a key milestone toward completion of the broader Montour Woods Greenway, a 10-mile trail loop located 1 mile from the Pittsburgh International Airport and 10 miles from downtown Pittsburgh. The greenway corridor is more than 50% complete, including five multi-use trail bridges that now link 320-acre Montour Woods Conservation Area to the Montour Trail and Moon Township Park.

The next phase of trail construction will link Moon Township Park to 88-acre Trout Run Conservation Area, completing the greenway loop.

For more information or a trail map, click here.
Camping, After-School Activities Important for Our Youth

As a youth, Rep. Gaydos participated in camp events at the YMCA. She interacted with her peers and learned a great deal from the many camp activities that were offered.

It is very beneficial for our kids to experience camp life; however, more families are struggling to find and afford after-school and summer learning programs. According to data from a 2020 survey, more than 775,000 Pennsylvania students would participate in an after-school program, if one were available to them. A lack of staffing and funding are major issues.

Recently, Gaydos met with Bruce Berringer, director of annual giving at the YMCA of Greater Pittsburgh, and Carolyn Grady, senior vice president and chief development officer at the YMCA of Greater Pittsburgh, about these important issues.

She is supporting legislation that would provide a statewide, comprehensive and stable source of funding for after-school programming.

The Building Opportunity through Out-of-School Time (BOOST) Program Act would dedicate $50 million from the state’s General Fund specifically to go toward before- and after-school programming and summer enrichment.

The BOOST Act would empower statewide organizations such as Boys and Girls Clubs and YMCAs to bolster their existing programs and allow them to create more across the state, especially in our most underserved communities.

The BOOST Act would help to improve social emotional academic or vocational competencies of a school-age youth; reduce negative behaviors such as violence and crime; provide parents with a safe environment for their children; and allow kids to engage in career exploration and formal or informal apprenticeships.

Gaydos will be working with my colleagues to get this legislation signed into law. Out-of-School Time for our kids needs to be supported totally.
Meet Bucco!

Recently, at the Capitol, it was Working Animal Appreciation Day. Rep. Gaydos posed with the Pittsburgh Pirates new dog, Bucco. The Pirates have teamed up with Guardian Angels Medical Service Dogs (GAMSD) to provide a service dog to a military veteran.

These very special dogs help to give people back their self-confidence and independence. We are so often told how vulnerable a disabled person feels in a crowd or maneuvering in a large public area such as an airport. With their loyal and highly trained service dog at their side, recipients often report the ease of once again facing public spaces.

Gaydos fully supports this effort. She says, “we need to help our disabled veterans every day.”

Pictured with me (from left) are Jack Wagner, former mayor of Pittsburgh, and former auditor general of Pennsylvania; and Carol Borden, chief executive officer and founder of Guardian Angels Medical Service Dogs.
House Approves Turnpike Consumer Protection Bill

Legislation to better protect consumers who travel the Pennsylvania Turnpike has been unanimously approved by the state House.

House Bill 2139 would require the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission (PTC) to notify an E-ZPass account holder the first time the person incurs a v-toll in a calendar year. V-tolls are assessed when a driver’s E-ZPass transponder is not detected as their vehicle enters or exits the turnpike or travels through a toll plaza. In 2021, more than 200,000 Pennsylvanians were charged v-tolls and many were unaware of the charges.

The bill also would make several other changes to improve toll collection and increase penalties against drivers who either don’t pay or evade tolls:
  •   Decrease the threshold at which penalties can be assessed against drivers who don’t pay. A driver’s vehicle registration could be suspended after four unpaid tolls, rather than the current six, and after $250 in unpaid tolls instead of the current $500.
  •   Make technical updates to reflect the move toward cashless tolling and clarify what constitutes affirmative action by a driver to evade paying turnpike tolls.
  •   Require a feasibility study to review third-party processing and transaction accounts for toll collection.
  •   Require an annual report to the General Assembly summarizing collected and uncollected toll revenues for the previous fiscal year, projected collected and uncollected toll revenues for the previous fiscal year, and reasons for uncollected toll revenues.

The bill now goes to the Senate for consideration.
Bill to Aid EMS Response Passes House

As a former EMT, Rep. Gaydos knows that every second counts when there is a call for immediate assistance. Gaydos and her colleagues have been working to ensure emergency medical services (EMS) crews can respond to calls for help. She was pleased to support legislation that would make permanent regulatory waivers regarding staffing on basic life support (BLS) ambulances.

All across the state, but especially in rural areas, EMS crews are facing staffing challenges that sometimes prevent them from leaving the station to respond to a call.

Under previous state regulations, certified emergency personnel, such as firefighters with specific first-aid, CPR and emergency vehicle training, were permitted to drive ambulances with an emergency medical technician (EMT) on board. Those regulations were changed several years ago to increase the number of emergency medical responders (EMRs) or EMTs required per ambulance. That means if an ambulance company does not have the required staffing levels, they cannot leave the station at all and have to defer to another, which can significantly delay care for people in dire health conditions.
Preventing Identity Theft!

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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