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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.
There are many responsibilities that come along with being a state legislator. Adopting a state budget is a top priority. Standing up for taxpayers must be the first legislative consideration when crafting a budget.

Last week, the General Assembly enacted the budget for the 2022-23 Fiscal Year. While no budget is perfect, and in my opinion there is always more that can be done, this year’s budget accomplished many goals and at the same time stood up for taxpayers by keeping spending in check, planning for future economic downturns but also making important investments in core government services.

This is a $42.8 billion budget, which is a 2.9% increase over last year. This is a historic and responsible budget which has bipartisan support. This budget includes no new taxes.

We must use funding wisely so we can invest in our communities without sacrificing our future. We deposited $2.1 billion into the Rainy Day Fund, bringing the total to $5 billion, as well as preserved $3.6 billion in the General Fund for future budgets.

As a business owner, I know the importance of giving relief to our job creators, especially those who suffered so much under COVID restrictions and who are now dealing with inflation as they are trying so hard to recover. This budget will expand expense deductions to help businesses buy equipment and invest/grow in Pennsylvania. Also, small businesses will be allowed to defer (or carry forward) tax liabilities on gains from similar property exchanges – as allowed in 49 other states. It also reduces the nation’s second highest Corporate Net Income Tax from 9.99% to 8.99% this year, and by 0.5% each year after until it reaches 4.99%.

The budget also increases our commitment to public education and school choice and sets a record high of $15 billion investment in PreK-12 education. It also supports educational opportunities for children whether they attend a traditional public school, public charter school or a private/parochial school.

This budget invests heavily in Pennsylvania’s environment. Our constitution guarantees Pennsylvania “a right to clean air, pure water and to the preservation of the natural values of the environment.” With this budget funding the largest environmental program in a decade, we are continuing to meet the Constitutional demands for Pennsylvanians. The budget funds a clean streams initiative using $220 million in federal relief funds, focusing on agricultural projects.

Overall, this budget provides historic tax cuts while targeting investment in the people of Pennsylvania.

Please view my comments on the state budget here.

Valerie Gaydos
Grand Opening Celebration

Congratulations to Nextracker and BCI Steel as they officially re-opened a vacant plant in Leetsdale for the purpose of making solar trackers.

Rep. Gaydos was a guest speaker at the ribbon cutting ceremony along with other distinguished guests including U.S. Sen. Bob Casey, Congressman Conor Lamb and U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm.

Gaydos is proud that the 44th District is leading the way in alternative energy. FedEx Ground recently celebrated its carport installation at its Moon Township headquarters. This is the company’s largest solar project, which will provide more than a third of the building’s annual energy needs.

Nextracker and BCI Steel have combined to make our region a supply chain partner. I think it is exciting for our area to have this opportunity to be a part of advancing the future of energy and the transition to net-zero carbon. It is imperative that we provide affordable and reliable energy to every household.
Gaydos Wants to Know What’s on Your Mind

Rep. Gaydos and her dedicated staff have been very busy working to help constituents in the 44th Legislative District. Gaydos wants to hear from you. She is hosting a series of town hall meetings to discuss state government-related issues, provide district updates, garner feedback on pending legislation, and relay what her offices can do for you.

See the schedule of these town hall meetings above.

People not only deserve to see who represents them, but also to have a public forum to voice their concerns and discuss the issues important to them.

Due to limited seating, interested individuals must register for these free meetings by calling Gaydos’ Moon Township district office at 412-262-3780 or registering at www.RepGaydos.com/events.

People who will be attending are asked to be respectful of all viewpoints to maintain proper decorum.
Proposed Constitutional Amendments Empower Pennsylvania Voters

The General Assembly approved several proposed constitutional amendments last week that could ultimately give you, the voters, a direct say in some important issues facing the Commonwealth.

The proposals seek to amend the state Constitution to:
  •   Would seek to amend the Constitution to expand the state’s current voter ID rules by requiring all voters to present valid identification each time they cast their ballot regardless of whether they are voting by mail or in person
  •   Allow a governor candidate to select a running mate for lieutenant governor, similar to the way a presidential candidate selects his or her running mate. Currently, the state’s lieutenant governors are elected independently.
  •   Require comprehensive auditing of elections by the state auditor general to include the administration of elections, certification of election machines, the accuracy of the list of registered voters, the administration of voter registration and election results.
  •   Restores the balance of power between the legislative and executive branches of state government. This would solidify checks and balances and strengthen citizens voices.
  Allow voters to directly decide if taxpayer dollars should be used to fund elective abortions. The proposal would not change current law.

Constitutional amendments must pass by a majority vote during two consecutive sessions of the General Assembly. Then they must be made public and advertised before going to the voters as part of a ballot referendum. At that point, the people of Pennsylvania get to decide.

This is the first time these initiatives were passed by the House and Senate. Rep. Gaydos spoke about Senate Bill 106 on the House floor. Click here to watch.
Gaydos, Williams Legislation to Enlist National Guard in Fight with Cyber Criminals Now Law

Gov. Tom Wolf signed into law legislation sponsored by Reps. Gaydos and Craig Williams to allow the state to use the expertise of the Pennsylvania National Guard to respond to cyber crises and subvert cyber intrusion.

Act 38 of 2022 (House Bill 2412) would give the Pennsylvania National Guard the authority to provide functional support for cybersecurity needs across the Commonwealth. It would allow trained military cybersecurity experts to support requests from state agencies in need of immediate assistance or training. Further, the bill will allow the guard to receive requests and provide support to non-government entities with cybersecurity education and training exercise assistance as needed.

Gaydos said, “Our energy needs and infrastructure are expanding, and government is housing more and more of your information, both personal and professional. Fortunately, we have experts here in the Commonwealth who could help in a cyber emergency.”

Pennsylvania is home to two military cybersecurity teams: The Pennsylvania Army National Guard Defensive Cyber Operations and the Pennsylvania Air National Guard 112th Cyberspace Operations Squadron.
Governor Vetoes Fairness in Women’s Sports Act

Gov. Tom Wolf vetoed House Bill 972, legislation that would have ensured women would not be forced to compete against biological males playing on women’s sports teams. It would have put a stop to President Joe Biden’s 2021 executive order which removed the power of the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association (PIAA) to determine eligibility.

The Fairness in Women’s Sports Act passed by majorities in both the House and Senate with members casting votes representing their districts.

As a co-sponsor of the bill, Gaydos feels the governor does not support women and their opportunity to compete on a level playing field. He does not support the important advances women have made in scholastic athletics in the last 50 years.

Gaydos and her co-sponsors will continue to fight for women’s rights in athletic competition.
Court Decision Halts Wolf Administration Energy Tax

Commonwealth Court on Friday issued an injunction halting Gov. Tom Wolf’s efforts to enroll Pennsylvania in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), a multi-state initiative that would have created a carbon tax on the state’s energy industry.

Pennsylvania is the third-largest electricity generation producer in the country and the largest exporter of electricity. RGGI threatens that status by implementing a tax on energy producers that will raise consumer electric bills by an estimated 30%, according to the Independent Fiscal Office, and lead to thousands of job losses in communities due to plant closures and suspension of new plant construction.

While all 11 other states enrolled in RGGI are there as a result of a vote by their legislatures, Gov. Tom Wolf has been circumventing that process and ignoring the voices of the citizens we represent. The administration has said it will appeal the decision.
Bills to Improve Overall Health Outcomes Now Law

Responding to ongoing health challenges across the Commonwealth, the General Assembly has approved two new laws that aim to improve health care providers’ abilities to treat the overall health of patients. Rep. Gaydos, a member of the House Health Committee voted in the affirmative for each bill.

Acts 32 and 33 of 2022 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.

Under prior law, mental health and physical health information could not be fully shared among providers in Pennsylvania. The changes will bring Pennsylvania in line with the majority of states that already share this information and are seeing improved patient outcomes.
Legislation to Support Crime Victims Signed into Law

Legislation that would give crime victims legal standing in court, update crime victims’ compensation, provide notice of events in the judicial process and enhance victims’ confidentiality for domestic and sexual violence crimes was signed into law by Gov. Tom Wolf. The measure is now Act 77 of 2022, formerly House Bill 2464.

This bill assures victims can now stand in court and assert their own rights and it gives them recourse when their rights are ignored.

Giving victims standing is part of Marsy’s Law. Marsy’s Law is a constitutional amendment to guarantee crime victims’ rights. When the amendment was being considered by voters in 2019, more than 1.7 million Pennsylvanians voted in favor, only to see the outcome ultimately set aside by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court due to a technicality with the ballot question.
House Passes Bill to Help Military Children in School

Working to ensure military children aren’t left behind or disadvantaged when moving into school districts in Pennsylvania, we unanimously approved legislation that would allow those children access to registration and enrollment at the same time it is open to the general population.

Under current law, to enroll a student in school, a school district must request proof of residency. That means students of military families who are transferring on official military permanent change of station orders are not eligible to register in classes, enroll in specialized academic programs, or submit their names in lotteries for charter or magnet schools until they are physically located within the district boundaries.

When these students move because of their parent’s service, they are often disadvantaged due to missed deadlines. An estimated 185,000 military students move between schools annually, and if they do miss these deadlines, they may have to shift their planned courses of study, which may force them to take summer classes or even graduate later than expected.

House Bill 1813 was a top priority in Pennsylvania for the United States Department of Defense. The bill seeks to waive proof of residency requirements by directing school districts to enact policies that would allow a child whose parent or legal guardian is an active-duty member of the armed forces of the United States.

The bill now heads to the Senate for consideration.
Counting Wild Turkey

Has your backyard been full of wild turkeys? The Pennsylvania Game Commission again is seeking input from the public in surveying wild turkeys this summer. The Pennsylvania Wild Turkey Sighting Survey is open now through Aug. 31.

Participation is important for turkey population management. Survey data allow the agency to determine total wild turkey productivity and compare long-term reproductive success within Pennsylvania and across states, as this is a standard methodology used across the country. Data also are used in the turkey population model to track population trends.

Turkey sightings can be reported through the Game Commission’s website. https://pgcdatacollection.pa.gov/TurkeyBroodSurveyThe mobile app is no longer available.

On the website, participants are requested to record the number of wild turkeys they see, along with the location, date and contact information if agency biologists have any questions. Viewers can also access results from previous years.
July is National Park and Recreation Month

Since 1985, America has celebrated July as the nation’s official Park and Recreation Month. Local parks are often our first experiences with nature, introduction to a favorite hobby or physical activity. They are places to gather with friends and family, spaces to celebrate life’s special moments, spots of respite and healing, sites that connect us with essential community services and much more.

Taking advantage of our parks is a simple way to improve your physical fitness. Parks offer children and adults an opportunity to engage in moderate to vigorous physical activity during their visit. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, having access to parks and playgrounds can initiate other healthy lifestyle choices.

You can learn more about National Park and Recreation Month and find additional resources by visiting http://www.nrpa.org/July.
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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