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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 increase in the cost of goods and services is being felt throughout the country. Many of our cash-strapped citizens are experiencing the sting as the cost to live continues to increase. We must get Pennsylvania back on track and we must do it now.

Serving as a board member for the Team Pennsylvania Foundation, which is charged with helping to improve and strengthen the state’s workforce, I am fortunate to get a front row seat in implementing initiatives to help grow our economy in Pennsylvania.

Recently, I attended the foundation’s 25th anniversary celebration where I was able to connect with former Gov. Tom Corbett and former Deputy Secretary of Economic Development Carolyn Boser Newhouse, seen in the pictures above.

As a current member of the House Commerce and Education committees and through my experience as a business owner, I join with the other Team PA board members who represent a broad cross section of active employers that contribute to further business growth, education, workforce development and government efficiency in the Commonwealth.

Team Pennsylvania Foundation is a non-partisan nonprofit established in 1997 to connect private and public sector leaders to achieve and sustain progress for Pennsylvania. Strong relationships between business and industry are necessary to facilitate partnerships for the betterment of the Commonwealth. The foundation is a collaboration of the highest levels of public and private leadership to support Pennsylvania’s goal of being a national leader in education and economic development.

Valerie Gaydos
Strategies to Help Struggling Families, Encourage Economic Growth Discussed

As inflation continues to take hold in Pennsylvania and the rest of the nation, workers, families and employers are continuing their struggle as prices skyrocket. The House Majority Policy Committee this week completed its series of hearings examining the causes of inflation, its impact on state government and Pennsylvania residents, and actionable state-level solutions.

Lowering costs for consumers and growing the state’s economy will require significant policy changes, members were told on Tuesday.

The committee heard from tax experts, employers and business groups about long-term solutions to rising costs and how best to drive economic investment and create job and career growth in the Commonwealth.

What keeps some employers from choosing or staying in Pennsylvania?

The experts cited the costs of doing business in the state and encouraged reducing and reforming the tax structure, as well as cutting onerous red tape, to encourage growth and investment in the Commonwealth. This will in turn lower costs for consumers.

Testifiers also advocated for increasing domestic energy production, as well as expanding the labor force by improving education and workforce development training and eliminating policies that have discouraged many people from returning to work.

Rep. Gaydos participated at the hearing with testifiers Joe Bishop-Henchman, executive vice president for National Taxpayers Union Foundation; David Taylor, president and chief executive officer of the Pennsylvania Manufacturers Association; and Warren Hudak, owner of Hudak & Company. While it is bad enough that businesses are getting hit with higher taxes, Gaydos asked the panelists if the Department of Revenue has calculated the time it takes to fill out tax forms, file taxes and complete other paperwork. Click here to watch.

Testimony and video of all four hearings is available online at www.PAGOPPolicy.com.
Natural Gas Impact Fee Distributions Continue to Provide Benefit to Communities, Environment

The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission announced $234.4 million in natural gas impact fees are being distributed this year, up 60% over last year due to higher prices and greater levels of activity.

Under Act 13 of 2012, county and municipal governments directly affected by drilling will receive a total of $123.2 million for the 2021 reporting year. This funding is used for a wide range of local infrastructure, emergency response, community and environmental programs.

Additionally, $86 million will be transferred to the Marcellus Legacy Fund, which provides financial support for environmental, highway, water and sewer, rehabilitation of greenways and other projects throughout the state. Also, $25.1 million will be distributed to state agencies including the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, Department of Environmental Protection, Fish and Boat Commission, County Conservation Districts and the Office of the State Fire Commissioner.

This year’s distributions bring the total revenues generated by the impact fee to $2.26 billion.
Drug Overdose Prevention Legislation Advanced by the House

With the drug epidemic continuing to rage across the Commonwealth, we have approved a bill aimed at preventing overdose deaths.

House Bill 1393 would remove fentanyl test strips from the definition of “drug paraphernalia,” which are prohibited and carry serious penalties. The change is in response to the increasing incidence of deadly fentanyl being added to heroin to increase its potency, often without the knowledge of those using it. Allowing people who are in the grip of addiction to possess and use test streps can help assure their safety and prevent overdose deaths.

Test strips would remain illegal for those dealing in fentanyl.

The bill now goes to the Senate for consideration.
House Unanimously Advances Bill to Boost Firefighter Ranks

With the number of firefighters shrinking across the Commonwealth, the House has approved legislation that would prepare junior firefighters for becoming full firefighters a year earlier than is allowed under current law.

House Bill 2268 would permit a 17-year-old junior firefighter to complete the Interior Firefighting Module with Live Burns training program in the Fire Training System. Currently, only people age 18 and over are allowed to enroll in the training program.

In order to take the additional training at 17, junior firefighters would need to have the permission of their parents and fire chief. This would mean when a junior firefighter turns 18 years old, he or she would immediately be able to serve their communities as a full-fledged firefighter.

The legislation now goes to the Senate for consideration.
Bill to Help Recruit Career and Technical Instructors Earns House Approval

In response to the growing need for career and technical education instructors, the House has approved legislation to ease certification for instructors already certified in another state.

House Bill 2646 would allow teachers holding a current career and technical instructional certificate issued by another state, along with four years wage-earning experience in the occupation to be taught and two years of teaching experience, to be issued an equivalent Pennsylvania career and technical instructional certificate.

It is more important than ever to ensure Pennsylvania schools can provide the kind of career and technical instruction needed to prepare students for highly specialized skilled trades jobs that offer family-sustaining wages and benefits. Employers across the state report difficulties in filling such positions.

The bill now goes to the Senate for consideration.
Much-Needed Support for Emergency Responders

Pennsylvania has a crisis on its hands with falling volunteer participation numbers and emergency response companies struggling to make ends meet. We need to find ways to address the challenges of first responders for the safety of our communities, and Rep. Gaydos is hoping a bill the House passed recently moves quickly through the legislative process.

Legislation that would increase benefits for emergency responders is now on its way to the Senate following overwhelming bipartisan support in the House.

House Bill 2157 would target $1 million for loan forgiveness and tuition assistance. The legislation also calls for the following:
  •   $1.5 million for the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Grant Program.
  •   $250,000 for online firefighter training.
  •   $1 million for training EMS personnel.
  •   500,000 for EMS training center capital grants.
  •   $500,000 for career fire department capital grants.
  •   $250,000 for a public safety campaign on the use of fireworks.
  •   Any remaining money would be equally divided between the EMS Grant Program and for making grants under the Fire Company Grant Program.

In addition to showing appreciation for our hardworking emergency responders, this bill would help keep these vital service providers in existence. We need to get creative in finding ways to support these talented men and women.
PennDOT Invites Feedback on Electric Vehicle Program, Transportation Planning

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) is inviting residents to share their feedback on the Draft Pennsylvania State Plan for access to National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) Formula Program funds, as well as the Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP).

Electric Vehicle Infrastructure
An online survey is now available for the public to share feedback on the goals, infrastructure prioritization and program administration components of the Draft Pennsylvania State Plan for access to National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) Formula Program funds.

The survey, which also includes an overview of the Federal Highway Administration’s NEVI Formula Program Guidance, will close on Thursday, June 30. The public can also submit feedback by emailing ra-pdevcorridors@pa.gov.

For more information and to complete the survey, click here.

2023 Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP)
Public comment is now being accepted on the draft 2023 Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP). It lists prioritized projects identified for federal, state, local and private funding in each federal fiscal year between 2023 and 2027. Federal funding in the draft STIP is based upon expected funds from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL), a $3.2 billion increase over previously planned amounts. 

The draft 2023 STIP can be viewed on the Talk PA Transportation website. The public can comment by filling out the online comment form at the website or emailing RA-PennDOTSTC@pa.gov. The public may also call PennDOT and share their comments at 717-783-2262 from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

State law requires PennDOT to prepare an update to Pennsylvania's TYP every two years and submit it for approval to the State Transportation Commission (STC). The draft 2023 STIP will be adopted as part of the 2023 TYP update by the STC during the Aug. 17 STC business meeting.

Public comment will be accepted through June 30.
Do Not Miss These Town Hall Meetings!

Identity Theft/Shredding Event a Big Success


Recently, Rep. Gaydos said she had a great time at her Identity Theft/Shredding event that was co-hosted by Sen. Devlin Robinson and Moon Township.

Gaydos feels it is very important for you to have a secure way to shred documents that contain sensitive information, such as Social Security numbers or bank account numbers. With identify theft such a pervasive crime, shredding any documents you have containing personal or sensitive information is the best defense.

Gaydos sends out a big thank you to all of the volunteers, and to Shred America for providing the equipment.
Riverlife Boat Tour of Pittsburgh’s Rivers

Last month, Rep. Gaydos and a group of bipartisan legislators took a boat tour of Pittsburgh’s rivers hosted by Riverlife. The tour was an opportunity to show off Pittsburgh’s waterways and the progress made over the last two decades, including the restoration of the Point State Park Fountain and the creation of the Mon Wharf Switchback.

Riverlife staff also shared the Completing the Loop vision plan, which proposes ambitious improvements to the 15-mile, 1,055-acre downtown loop of riverfront parks, trails and public open space.
Zoo Day at the Capitol


This week, Rep. Gaydos and her colleagues celebrated Zoo Day in the Capitol East Wing Rotunda. She had the opportunity to visit with a variety of animals from all of Pennsylvania's zoos. Legislators were visited by Pennsylvania Zoological Council's six member zoos: the Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Erie zoos, the Elmwood Park Zoo in Norristown, the National Aviary in Pittsburgh and the Lehigh Valley Zoo.
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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