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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.

Health care costs can be very expensive for small businesses. Costs continue to rise which is crushing our entrepreneurs. I have a plan that would lessen the burden so employers can pool together to give their employees better and more affordable care.

This week, Americans for Prosperity invited me to speak about House Bill 555, legislation that would require a group or association health plan being offered is fully insured, provides essential health benefits and protects small businesses and employees. The association health plan coverage would be guaranteed issued and renewable, prohibiting denying coverage based on a pre-existing condition, providing essential health benefits and plans comparable to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) plans.

This legislation would provide a mechanism for small business employers to join together to offer quality health insurance as a benefit to their employees.

This practice already occurs in more than 30 states and enacting the same in Pennsylvania will enable our small businesses to reduce health care costs through group buying power. Decreasing costs for small businesses and small employers will help Pennsylvania companies be more competitive and which will ultimate help attract and maintain a strong workforce.

It's imperative we cut the cost of health care for our employees. This bill is a step in the right direction.

A big thank you to Americans for Prosperity for hosting the event, and to Reps. Bob Brooks (R-Allegheny/Westmoreland) and Tim O’Neal (R-Washington) for their support.

Click here to read a very interesting article from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.


Valerie Gaydos
Out and About in the 44th District

Recently, I participated at the Pittsburgh Airport Area Chamber Legislative Breakfast. I was joined by local, state and federal leaders. The goal of the breakfast is to strengthen relationships between our region’s business community and elected officials and to celebrate our shared accomplishments.

The Pittsburgh Airport Area Chamber holds three legislative receptions each year. They occur in Pittsburgh, Harrisburg and Washington, DC.

Thank you to everyone who showed up for our Sportsman and Gun Safety event at the Findlay Township Activity Center.

I teamed up with Sen. Devlin Robinson (R-Allegheny/Washington) as we showed outdoor enthusiasts how to become more educated and familiar with the related state and local government services available.

We featured panelists who are experts on the outdoors and gun safety, as well as a wide variety of state and local agencies and vendors showcasing opportunities to become more active in the great outdoors anytime of the year.

I joined Rep. Rob Mercuri (R-Allegheny) to deliver remarks at the Education Council School Directors Forum at the Edgeworth Club in Sewickley about how we are advocating for our students.

Our young people are the future of Pennsylvania and our country, and we must put them in the best position to succeed.

Students, teachers and administrators will always remain front and center with my priorities, and I look forward to the work ahead as we continue to find ways to improve education in the Commonwealth.

The annual Capitol All-Stars 2022 softball game was held recently in Harrisburg. This is a day when members of the General Assembly team up on bipartisan teams. It was Team Yinz vs. Team Youse. The purpose of the game was to raise money to benefit Feeding Pennsylvania and Hunger-Free Pennsylvania.

I was glad to be picked to play for Team Yinz. Although a recent hand injury kept me from swinging a bat, I was able to cheer on the team from the dugout and hang out with the Pittsburgh Pirates Pierogies on the field!

Unfortunately, my team lost! Oh, well, better luck next time.

I visited LifeSpan Senior Center in North Fayette to talk about topics our older residents are very concerned about.

We discussed domestic violence and who to contact should you witness this heinous act. We also talked about what steps seniors should take when they receive phone calls or see internet ads trying to lure them to spend money, and how they can avoid identity theft.

There were many excellent questions, and the discussions were very lively and informative.

I am pictured with Phil Little, specialist at the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General.
Protecting Against Elder Abuse

A bill to better protect senior citizens in long-term care facilities from the dangers of elder abuse has been approved by the state House.

House Bill 2425 would ensure a clear line of communication between departments that have oversight over long-term care facilities by requiring any allegations of abuse involving individuals over 60 that are incorrectly made to the Department of Human Services or the Department of Health be referred to the local Area Agency on Aging for investigation, which is overseen by the Department of Aging.

Current law requires the local AAA to investigate allegations within 72 hours, but there was no specific provision in the law to ensure the sharing of information.

The bill is pending action in the Senate.
Wolf Vetoes Bill that Could Prevent Parole for Violent Offenders

Legislation inspired by the murder of an 8-year-old boy at the hands of a paroled violent offender has been vetoed by Gov. Tom Wolf.

House Bill 146, also known as Markie’s Law, was named after Markie Mason, an 8-year-old boy who was brutally stabbed to death by a man who was paroled at the end of his minimum sentence for homicide, even after being convicted of committing two separate assaults of other inmates while in prison.

The bill would have postponed consideration of a violent inmate’s parole an additional 24 months following the inmate’s minimum release date for each conviction of a violent offense while incarcerated. In addition, it would have suspended consideration of an inmate’s parole an additional 12 months if the inmate attempted to escape, smuggled contraband, or retaliated or intimidated witnesses while incarcerated.

The bill passed with significant bipartisan support in both the House and Senate. In his veto message, the governor claims the legislation is “misguided and does not promote public safety.”
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

To honor those who have fought breast cancer or who are fighting it now, the fountain at the Pennsylvania State Capitol’s East Wing has been dyed pink again this year in recognition of October as Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

According to the American Cancer Society, breast cancer is the most common cancer in women in the United States, except for skin cancers. It represents about 30% of all new female cancers each year. Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in women, second only to lung cancer.

The pink fountain is also a reminder to all women of the importance of mammograms and early detection. People with low to moderate income who are uninsured or underinsured and meet certain age requirements may qualify for testing through the Pennsylvania Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program. To learn about the program and eligibility, click here.  
Fire Prevention Week Highlights Importance of Escape Plans

National Fire Prevention Week, an annual event to help raise awareness about how to prevent fires and fire-related injuries, kicks off this Sunday, Oct. 9. This year’s theme is “Fire won’t wait. Plan your escape.”

According to the National Fire Protection Association, today’s homes burn faster than ever. That means people may have as little as two minutes or less to safely escape a home fire from the time the smoke alarm sounds. The ability to get out of a home during a fire depends on early warning from smoke alarms and advanced planning.

In addition to creating an escape plan, it is important for everyone in the home to practice the escape. Residents are also reminded to ensure their smoke alarms are in good working order to allow as much time as possible for an escape.

More information from the National Fire Protection Association, including sample escape plan grids and action plans, are available here.
PennDOT Driver License, Photo Centers Closed for Columbus Day Holiday

All PennDOT driver license and photo centers, including the Riverfront Office Center in Harrisburg, will be closed Saturday, Oct. 8, through Monday, Oct. 10, in observance of Columbus Day.

Customers may still obtain a variety of driver and vehicle products and services online through PennDOT's Driver and Vehicle Services website, www.dmv.pa.gov.

Driver and vehicle online services are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week and include driver's license, photo ID and vehicle registration renewals; driver-history services; changes of address; driver license and vehicle registration restoration letters; ability to pay driver license or vehicle insurance restoration fee; driver license and photo ID duplicates; and driver exam scheduling. There are no additional fees for using online services.
Security Funding Available for Organizations Targeted by Hate Crimes

The Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD) is now accepting applications for funding through its Nonprofit Security Grant Program. The funds may be used to support security enhancement projects for nonprofit organizations that may be targeted by hate crimes.

The grant program was created in 2019 in response to the tragic shooting at Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life synagogue, which claimed the lives of 11 people.

Grant awards can range from $5,000 to $150,000 for a wide variety of eligible items, including safety and security planning and training; purchase of safety and security equipment and technology; upgrades to existing structures that enhance safety and security; and vulnerability and threat assessments.

Applications are due by Monday, Oct. 31. Additional information about eligibility and applications is available here.
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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