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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.

Landslides represent a significant financial burden to our Commonwealth residents, costing them millions in damages every year. Unfortunately, this type of disaster typically is not covered by most insurance policies.

During a press conference in Ross Township, I was joined by Rep. Emily Kinkead (D-Allegheny) to introduce legislation, which I am sponsoring, to create a new insurance program for homeowners living in landslide-prone areas, as well as assistance to local governments that wish to mitigate the risk of landslides within their communities.

The bill would add coverage of landslides, slope movement and sinkholes to an existing program in the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) that currently only covers mine subsidence assistance and insurance.

At the press conference a number of local and county officials showed their support for the legislation, including Rich Fitzgerald, chief executive of Allegheny County; Barbara Carrier, mayor of Glen Osborne; Al Quay, supervisor from Moon Township; Tim Moury, council president of Bethel Park: and J.R. Mangan, manager of North Fayette Township.

The lack of protections leaves many Pennsylvanians exposed to the financial fallout from the devastation and creates a large burden to communities in a multitude of ways. Western Pennsylvania is susceptible to landslides because of two natural geologic characteristics:
  •   The bedrock land composition, consisting mainly of incompetent mud rocks, such as silty shales and clay stones that weather easily.
  •   The regional topography consisting of steep slopes.

This measure, which has bipartisan support, would have far-reaching impacts in safeguarding residents against nature’s often unpredictable forces.

Click here to listen to my comments on this important legislation.

 During a press conference in Ross Township, Allegheny County, Rep. Emily Kinkead and I introduced legislation to help residents deal with the financial burden caused by landslides.

Valerie Gaydos
Gaydos Presented NFIB Award

This week at the Capitol in Harrisburg, Rep. Gaydos received the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) Guardian of Small Business award. This award was given to only 10 representatives in recognition of a strong voting record and leadership in supporting issues for small and independent businesses.

Gaydos said, “I will always be a loyal supporter of the small business community. I have fought to reduce regulations and red tape, as well as reduce the tax burden businesses face.”

Pictured with Gaydos (from left) are Jeff Wakeen, member of Pennsylvania’s NFIB Leadership Council; Greg Moreland, NFIB state director; and Warren Hudak, member of Pennsylvania’s NFIB Leadership Council.
Celebrate America’s Anniversary

The U.S. Semiquincentennial Commission was established by Congress to inspire all Americans to participate in our greatest milestone ever — the 250th anniversary of the founding of the United States.

It’s never too early to start preparing for this major celebration. The big event is still more than four years away, but from federal and state agencies to local museums, the nation’s history committee has already started planning for this event with Pennsylvania taking a lead role.

Recently, Rep. Gaydos joined the committee at a reception to kick off the largest and most inclusive anniversary observance in our nation’s history.

Click here for more information about the event.
Remembering the Immaculate Reception

Former Pittsburgh Steeler Franco Harris, a constituent of Rep. Gaydos, was a distinguished guest at the Capitol in Harrisburg this week.

The Hall-of-famer, his wife and son, received a House of Resolution citation signed by Gaydos in honor of Dec. 23, 2022, being named “Franco Harris Day in Pennsylvania.”

This recognizes the 50th anniversary of the Immaculate reception, which is one of the most famous plays in the history of the National Football League. It occurred in the AFC divisional playoff game between the Steelers and Oakland Raiders on Dec. 23, 1972. Franco was the hero, catching and completing the pass in the waning seconds of the playoff game.

You can relive the glory of that moment here. 

You can read more about Franco, his work and his ongoing charitable endeavors here.
House Fails to Override Governor’s Markie’s Law Veto

This week, the House attempted to override Gov. Tom Wolf’s September veto of House Bill 146, which changes the parole processes for violent offenders in the wake of the horrendous and violent 2019 murder of a child in Lawrence County.

The measure needed a two-thirds majority (134 votes) to override the veto; 132 “yes” votes were cast. Every Republican House member who voted “yes” in the initial vote when it passed the first time, voted again in the affirmative to override the governor’s veto. However, some of the Democrats who originally voted in the affirmative, flipped their vote to support releasing violent criminals back into our streets. You can track the votes here.

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 violent assaults of other inmates while in prison.

The bill would have postponed consideration of a violent inmate’s parole for 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, smuggle contraband, or retaliate or intimidate witnesses while incarcerated.

While prison reform is needed, inmates must be held accountable for their actions while incarcerated.
Legislation to Divest the Commonwealth from Russian, Belarusian Financial Assets Headed to Governor

Legislation that would divest the Commonwealth from Russian and Belarusian financial assets and prohibit future investment of Commonwealth funds in financial assets of those countries passed the Senate unanimously this week.

The bill now heads to Gov. Tom Wolf’s desk, where it awaits his signature for enactment.

In April, the House unanimously passed House Bill 2447. Divesting Commonwealth investments from Russian and Belarusian financial assets is a poignant message that Pennsylvania is against this unnecessary and illegal conflict.

The unanimous support of the General Assembly shows the body is speaking with one voice against the ongoing conflict and is joining with the rest of the free world in taking steps that substantively marginalize Vladimir Putin and his domestic and geopolitical allies.
Bill to Aid Battle Against Opioid Abuse Awaiting Governor’s Signature

Legislation that would extend Good Samaritan protections for the use of new opioid overdose reversal drugs in advance of their anticipated approval by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is on the governor’s desk awaiting signature to become law.

Good Samaritan laws provide immunity from civil damages for personal injuries, even including death, that result from a person’s well-intentioned efforts to assist someone in distress. In 2014, the General Assembly passed a law providing legal immunity to those who administer naloxone, commonly known by its trade name Narcan, to people they believe to be suffering an overdose. House Bill 2527 would expand that immunity to people who use other opioid reversal drugs.

If signed, the law would take effect in 60 days.
Attention Farmers: Participate in 2022 Census of Agriculture

Farm operations of all sizes are encouraged to participate in the upcoming Census of Agriculture, conducted every five years by the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS).

The ag census remains the only source of comprehensive agriculture data for every U.S farm, ranch and person who operates them in every state and county in the nation. It looks at land use and ownership, operator characteristics, production practices, income and expenditures.

The ag census includes even the smallest plots and operations, rural or urban. As long as $1,000 or more of agricultural products were produced and sold, or normally would have been sold, in the census year, that is considered a farm to be counted.

Census forms will be mailed out to more than 3 million U.S. producers starting in November. Farm operators will have the opportunity to respond online or by filling out the form and returning it via U.S. Mail. The deadline to respond is Feb. 6, 2023. More information is available here.
Be Cautious of Slow-Moving Vehicles

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) is reminding motorists to share the road safely with slow-moving vehicles.

The fall months can mean harvest season for certain crops, making it commonplace to see farm equipment and other vehicles on Pennsylvania’s rural routes. Drivers should remain patient and use caution when approaching slow-moving traffic, which is vehicles traveling at a speed of less than 25 miles per hour such as horse-drawn buggies, construction machinery and farm equipment.

PennDOT advises that drivers should slow down immediately when seeing a slow-moving vehicle to provide a cushion of safety.

Do not pass a slow-moving vehicle if you cannot see clearly in front of you and the vehicle you intend to pass; there are curves or hills in the road ahead; you are in a designated “No Passing Zone”; or you are within 100 feet of any intersection, railroad crossing, bridge, elevated structure or tunnel.

Also, do not assume that a vehicle operator who pulls the vehicle to the right side of the road is turning right or letting you pass. The operator may be swinging wide to execute a left-hand turn.
World Stroke Day Oct. 29

Saturday, Oct. 29, is World Stroke Day, a day set aside to raise awareness of the dangers of stroke, risk factors and how to recognize when a person is having a stroke. Early recognition and treatment of stroke are vital to ensuring a person’s survival and recovery.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the most common signs of stroke in both men and women include sudden numbness or weakness in the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body; sudden confusion, trouble speaking or difficulty understanding speech; sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes; sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or lack of coordination; or sudden severe headache with no known cause.

The stroke treatments that work best are available only if the stroke is recognized and diagnosed within three hours of the first symptoms. Stroke patients may not be eligible for these if they don’t arrive at the hospital in time. To help assess if someone is having a stroke, do the following test:

  •   Face: Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop?
  •   Arms: Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
  •   Speech: Ask the person to repeat a simple phrase. Is the speech slurred or strange?
  •   Time: If you see any of these signs, call 9-1-1 right away.

For more information about stroke, risk factors, prevention and diagnosis, click here.
Drug Take Back Day Saturday

This Saturday, Oct. 29, is National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, an event sponsored by the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) to help raise awareness and give citizens across the Commonwealth the opportunity to safely dispose of unused prescription drugs.

One of the best ways to fight drug abuse is to safely dispose of unused prescription drugs. Find a drop-off location near you.

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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