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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.
I want to take a moment to thank you for continuing to trust me by re-electing me as your state representative. I take great pride in serving you to the best of my ability. I would also like to congratulate all of the candidates who ran for public office and the newly elected officials across Pennsylvania.

As a result of the reapportionment of legislative districts, which occurs every 10 years, the existing 44th Legislative District has added the two communities of Leet Township and the Borough of Leetsdale, where I was born. It will enable all 11 boroughs and municipalities in the Quaker Valley School District to be united into one House district.

I remain committed to working to increase transparency and accountability in government, which includes reducing the size of government, continuing much-needed support and reforms by creating more family-sustaining jobs, reviving the economy, improving the climate for businesses and focusing on mental health and wellness for all Pennsylvanians. Let’s work together to achieve these goals.

As we move forward, I want to let you know about what to expect in the coming weeks. My second term as state representative will expire on Nov. 30, and my third term will begin the next day. All members will be sworn into office on Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2023.

Valerie Gaydos
Celebrate America’s Birthday
Gaydos Added as Commission Member


It’s never too early to start preparing for a major celebration. The 250th anniversary of the United States in 2026 is several 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 as Gaydos talks about the celebration and the passion she has for our country.
Honoring Our Veterans

“Humility must always be the portion of any man who receives acclaim earned in the blood of his followers and the sacrifices of his friends.” – General Dwight Eisenhower

Today we celebrate Veterans Day by remembering the sacrifices these men and women made on behalf of our citizens and people around the world.

Veterans Day, originally known as Armistice Day, first marked the one-year anniversary of the end of World War I, on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, and sought to honor the veterans of the World War – the only world war to have occurred at that time. Armistice Day was declared a national holiday in 1938 to acknowledge world peace, and then was renamed Veterans Day in 1954 to celebrate the contributions of veterans of all wars.

Click here to watch a message to all veterans from our 2nd Amendment Caucus.

For more about the history of Veterans Day, click here.

For more information about programs and benefits to support our veterans in Pennsylvania, visit the state Department of Military and Veterans Affairs here.

Also, the General Assembly recently adopted a new law, Act 129 of 2022, formerly House Bill 2361, designating June 12 of each year as Women Veterans Day in the Commonwealth. There are currently more than 71,000 female veterans residing in Pennsylvania. And, according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, by 2040 it is estimated that women will make up roughly 17% of the total veteran population.
Recognizing Service Members and Their Families

A new state law offers military family members the opportunity to obtain a “Blue Star Family” specialty license plate in recognition of their loved one’s service.

Act 112 of 2022, formerly House Bill 1486, requires PennDOT to issue a Blue Star Family license plate to any family member of a person who is an active-duty military service member, including those in the reserve or National Guard. The plate will cost an additional $23 on top of the registration fee. Plates will not have to be returned once the family member no longer serves on active duty.

A family member includes a spouse, mother, father, son, daughter, brother, sister, stepmother, stepfather, stepson, stepdaughter, mother or father through adoption, foster mother or father in loco parentis, son or daughter by adoption, half-brother, half-sister, grandfather or grandmother.

The same law also creates a special plate for Afghanistan and Iraq war veterans. The new plates will become available from PennDOT after the law takes effect next year.
New Law Supports Justice for Crime Victims

Crime victims in the Commonwealth will have better access to investigative information about their cases under a new state law.

Act 134 of 2022, formerly House Bill 2525, makes it easier for crime victims to obtain relevant information learned by law enforcement during the investigation of a crime to possibly use that information in subsequent civil actions to recover damages.

It creates a simple process by which crime victims can request dissemination of criminal history investigative information which is relevant to a civil action arising out of the crime, provided the victim swears under penalty of law that the information is material and necessary to the civil action. The information can then only be used for the civil lawsuit; any harassing, intimidating or threatening use of the information would be punishable as a crime.

The measure will take effect in about six months and is the latest effort by state House Republicans to stand up for victims of crime and fight back against perpetrators and those who choose not to enforce the Commonwealth’s laws. Learn more about our Smart Justice efforts here.
Protecting Police from Assaults

Pennsylvania police officers now have a new level of protection if assaulted with bodily fluids. 

Act 99 of 2022, formerly House Bill 103, makes it a criminal offense to assault a police officer with bodily fluids, such as saliva. The law outlines an assault must be deliberate, rather than a case of accidental spitting that could occur during a heated exchange.

Typically, when officers are assaulted with spit or bodily fluids, they must undergo medical testing to see if they contracted a virus, such as HIV. Such assaults take police officers off the street, preventing them from fully doing their jobs and protecting people in their communities.

The law takes effect in approximately two months.
New Law Targets Dangerous Driving

Working to prevent dangerous driving and improve highway safety, a new state law requires the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation to create a mandatory driver improvement program for drivers who accumulate six points or more on their licenses.

Under Act 120 of 2022, formerly House Bill 1958, this program would be required as a way to reduce points from a driver’s record, and when a driver is convicted of exceeding the speed limit by more than 30 miles per hour. The course would also be required when applying for an Occupational Limited License and Probationary License and would be a condition for license reinstatement following suspension due to point accumulation or excessive speeding.

In 2020, PennDOT reported 1,129 motor vehicle-related fatalities despite a significant reduction in vehicle miles traveled in the pandemic. Because most of these crashes were caused by driver behavior, the training course required under the law would employ established and effective strategies to change the decision-making processes of traffic offenders and move them to make better driving choices.

The program is expected to become effective in 14 months.
Supporting Our First Responder Organizations

Continuing the effort to help the state’s vital emergency response agencies, Gov. Tom Wolf has signed into law legislation designed to help address financial and personnel challenges within our fire and ambulance companies.

To boost recruitment and retention of personnel, House Bill 397, now Act 104 of 2022, provides funding for tuition and loan assistance for higher education to students who volunteer for fire and EMS services. It also allocates $1 million to fund scholarships for EMS providers who successfully complete approved training to make that training more affordable to build the EMS workforce.

Other components of the law include:
  •   $1.5 million in additional funding for EMS companies through the annual Fire Company and Emergency Medical Services Grant Program.
  •   $500,000 for a grant program to support capital improvements to first responder emergency services training facilities.
  •   $500,000 for a municipal fire department capital grant program to build, renovate or otherwise modernize facilities, and purchase or repair equipment.
  •   $250,000 for the current firefighter online training program.
  •   $500,000 to bomb squads for the safe removal, transportation, storage and destruction of confiscated fireworks.
  •   $250,000 for a public service campaign on the safe operation of fireworks.

The measure also would ensure fire and/or EMS companies that have consolidated will continue for a period of 20 years to receive the same level of grant funding they would have had they not merged.
Bill to Assist Pennsylvanians with Drug Addictions Signed into Law

Legislation that would assist Pennsylvania residents with drug addictions to receive treatment has been signed into law by the governor.

House Bill 220, now Act 101 of 2022, would clarify that a person cannot be denied admission to a public or private treatment and rehabilitative facility based solely on a negative drug test. Facilities may still deny treatment for other than clinical reasons to those with a negative test.

In addition, the bill was amended by the Senate to authorize the creation of local suicide and/or overdose fatality review teams under the purview of local departments of health.

I am hopeful this legislation results in more people who are struggling with addiction get the help they need.
Turnpike Consumer Protection Measure Now Law

The state House and Senate have approved legislation to better protect consumers who travel the Pennsylvania Turnpike. The bill is now pending the governor’s signature to become law.

House Bill 1486, now Act 112 of 2022, 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; many of them were unaware of the assessments.

In addition to addressing the v-toll issue, the bill also makes several changes to improve toll collection and increase penalties against drivers who either don’t pay or evade tolls. Specifically, the bill would 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. The statute of limitations to collect an unpaid toll is increased from three years to five years after the violation was committed.

With regard to existing criminal penalties for fare evasion, the bill would make technical updates to reflect the move toward cashless tolling and clarify what constitutes affirmative action by a driver to evade paying turnpike tolls. The bill also would require the PTC to conduct a feasibility study to review third-party processing and transaction accounts for toll collection, such as Apple Pay and Venmo, as well as electronic push notifications to E-ZPass holders within 24 hours of a transaction.

The bill will take effect in 60 days.
Heating Assistance Program Now Open

Residents who struggle with their home heating bills can now apply for assistance from the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).

LIHEAP is a federally funded program that helps individuals and families pay their heating bills through home heating energy assistance grants. It also provides crisis grants to help in the event of an emergency or if a resident is in danger of losing his or her heat due to broken equipment, lack of fuel or termination of utility service.

The income eligibility guidelines for LIHEAP are set at 150% of the federal poverty income level. For example, the income limit for an individual is $20,385 and for a family of four it is $41,625.

Residents may apply for LIHEAP online at www.compass.state.pa.us, by phone at 1-866-550-4355 or by contacting the County Assistance Office in their county of residence.

Click here for additional information.
The program runs through April 28, 2023.
PennDOT Driver License, Photo Centers Closed for Veterans Day

All PennDOT driver license and photo centers, including its full-service center in Harrisburg, will be closed Friday, Nov. 11, in observance of Veterans Day.

Customers may still obtain a variety of driver and vehicle products and services, including all forms, publications and driver training manuals, through PennDOT's online Driver and Vehicle Services website.
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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