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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.
It's time to get into the holiday spirit, and the Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony at the Capitol is just the event to do it. Each year, the Capitol tree lighting in Harrisburg marks the official start of the holiday season. This week, the Pennsylvania State Capitol welcomed the public for the first in-person Capitol Tree Lighting Ceremony led by Gov. Tom Wolf and First Lady Frances Wolf since the pandemic began, and I was delighted to attend this momentous occasion along with staff and other elected officials.

I even got to meet Santa Claus at the event! The Capitol Police dogs got into the action and had the chance to ask Santa for some very special dog treats!


This beautiful tree is 20-feet-tall and comes to us from Crystal Spring Tree Farm in Lehighton, Carbon County. The tree is decorated with more than 900 LED lights and more than 700 handmade ornaments. The ornaments were donated by students and seniors throughout the Commonwealth coordinated by Pre-K for PA and the Department of Aging.

The tree will remain on display in the Capitol Rotunda throughout the holiday season. If you are passing through Harrisburg, take the time to visit this beautiful tree and the Capital Complex during the holiday season.

You can watch my holiday message from the Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony here.

Would you like to purchase a Christmas ornament from the Pennsylvania Capitol Preservation Committee? Click here for more information on how to order.

May this beautiful holiday season fill your heart with love, your home with joy, and your life with laughter. Happy holidays! Wishing you and your family love, peace and happiness!

Valerie Gaydos
New Boundaries of the 44th Legislative District Started Dec. 1

Serving as your state representative in the community where I was born and raised, and where my family operated their businesses, is an incredible honor.

Due to the redistricting process, which occurs every 10 years, some residents are now seeing a change in representation. The new 44th Legislative District, which went into effect last week, still covers the Western part of Allegheny County. However, the district will be adding the communities of Leet Township and the Borough of Leetsdale, where I was born. This addition will enable all 11 boroughs and municipalities in the Quaker Valley School District to be united into one House district for the first time in more than 40 years.

Unfortunately, Ohio Township has moved to the 30th Legislative District. It was an honor serving those residents for the past four years.

The new district will keep communities of interest together, will have less splitting of municipalities, and will encompass the three complete school districts of Moon, West Allegheny and Quaker Valley, while reuniting Ohio Township with the rest of the communities in the Avonworth School District.

My staff and I look forward to getting to know our new residents.

In addition, if you have any questions or concerns, please call my office in at 412-262-3780, or stop by at 1005 Beaver Grade Road, Suite 106, Moon Township.

Please see the new map below.

A Well-Deserved Honor

My sincerest congratulations go out to Pittsburgh’s Broadhurst family, owners of Eat’n Park Hospitality Group, for receiving The Pennsylvania Society’s 2022 Gold Medal for Distinguished Achievement.

I along with entrepreneur and district resident Anthony Roppa honored Jim and Suzy Broadhurst for their philanthropy and community contributions.

Most notably were their actions during the COVID-19 pandemic where the company brought many smiles to the community by making sure insurance premiums were paid for furloughed employees, as well as adopting innovative ways to keep as many people employed. The company also aided our area students who could not receive lunches due to school closings.

Click here to read more about their generosity to our community and Commonwealth. 

The family chose the Greater Pittsburgh Food Bank to receive this year’s philanthropic contribution from The Pennsylvania Society.

The holidays can now begin! As Pittsburgh Dad says “It ain’t Christmas ‘till the Eat n’ Park Christmas Star commercial appears.” 
Allegheny County Real Estate Owners May Get Second Chance

Here is some valuable information if you purchased property in Allegheny County in the last several years. Check out your monthly payment and the rate at which your home was assessed when purchased. It could mean you may be owed a refund, or your tax payment may be at a reduced rate.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette did a nice article on this subject that is worth reading. Click here for more information. 
Sewickley Public Library to Receive Grant

I am pleased to announce that the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC) awarded a $5,000 grant to the Sewickley Public Library.

The funds will go to preserving and increasing access to the significant parts of the library’s local history collection. Digitization and inclusion in the Power Library PA Photos and Documents collection will provide greater access and exposure. In addition to digitization, the library will take the necessary steps to preserve the original printed materials.

Preserving the history of a place through its historic resources gives a community its unique character. It is very satisfying to know that we are giving a significant piece of local history a new, fresh look. I was pleased to advocate for this funding.

Funding under the program is available to nonprofit organizations and local governments for capital improvements on historic resources listed in or eligible for listing in the National Register of historic places.
Deadline Nears for Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program

Older adults and Pennsylvanians with disabilities have until Dec. 31 to apply for the state’s 2021 Property Tax/Rent Rebate program. Remember, assistance through my office is always free. You need not pay a private firm for assistance.

The rebate program benefits eligible Pennsylvanians age 65 and older; widows and widowers age 50 and older; and people with disabilities age 18 and older. The income limit is $35,000 a year for homeowners and $15,000 annually for renters, and half of Social Security income is excluded.

For additional information and applications, click here,  or contact my office for assistance.
REAL ID Deadline Delayed Two More Years

This week, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced its intent to extend the REAL ID full enforcement date by 24 months, from May 3, 2023, to May 7, 2025.

This extension means you will continue to be able to board a domestic flight or enter a secure federal building with a standard driver's license until May 7, 2025.

Under the new regulations published to execute this change, states will now have additional time to ensure their residents have driver’s licenses and identification cards that meet the security standards established by the REAL ID Act. As required by the law, following the enforcement deadline, federal agencies, including the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), will be prohibited from accepting driver’s licenses and identification cards that do not meet these federal standards.

The extension is necessary, in part, to address the lingering impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the ability to obtain a REAL ID driver’s license or identification card. REAL ID progress over the past two years has been significantly hindered by state driver’s licensing agencies having to work through the backlogs created by the pandemic.
PA PSSA Scores Continue to Decline

For the second straight year, Pennsylvania’s students have underperformed on state-issued standardized tests, known as the Pennsylvania System of State Assessment (PSSA), compared to pre-pandemic results, and in some cases worse than 2021.

Speaker of the House Bryan Cutler said, “This year’s abysmal PSSA scores, especially in the areas of language arts and biology, are another reminder that government forcing students to remain in a broken education system that is failing today’s students.”

He went on to ensure that, “Republicans have, and will continue to, advance education policies that empower families to make the best decisions possible for their children and their future.”
According to the results released this week, only 52% students in third grade and 55% of students in eighth grade scored at proficient or above in English Language Arts, and only 48% of third graders and 22% of eight graders scored at proficient or above in math.

Education is one of my top priorities. I will continue to battle in the fight for better learning experiences for our students.

To view more of the results, click here. 
Tis the Season…for Holiday Scams

It is everyone’s favorite time of the year, especially scammers who seek to capitalize on people’s general goodwill and the influx of online shopping during this time.

The Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General is warning consumers to be on the lookout for the following holiday scams:
     The Bait and Switch: Take retailers’ advertisements to the store with you. Unscrupulous retailers may advertise goods at low prices, but when you get to the store the price may be higher than advertised or the product might not be there at all.
     Skimming Devices: During the holidays last year, police were called to a retailer at the King of Prussia mall to remove a skimming device from one store’s register. Sometimes skimming devices are placed on gas pumps or ATMs to capture data from the magnetic stripe on the back of credit and debit cards. If something looks out of place or easily wiggles, use a different ATM, gas pump or register.
     “Cybersquatting” Sites: Crooks try to impersonate well-known websites by inverting characters or slightly altering the name of a well-known website. The copycat sites may look similar to the real website – and they can steal your credit information. Carefully read website addresses to ensure you are shopping on a legitimate website.
     Copycat and Fraudulent Websites: Fake websites set up by scammers target online shoppers during the holiday season. Sometimes appearing as ad results in online searches, these sites may contain malware or steal inputted credit card data. Avoid making purchases from untrustworthy sites.
  •   Security Certificates: To ensure you are shopping on a secure website, make sure the website begins with “https” and has a small padlock icon next to the webpage address. Keep your computer, tablet or smartphone up-to-date and install security software.
  •   Retailers Who Request Payment through Wire Transfer: Legitimate online businesses will not use wire transfer to collect payment for purchases. This is a sure sign of a scam.

Consumers should also be aware that although gift cards can be a versatile and practical holiday gift, they are also often used by scammers. Remember, no government agency will ever ask you to pay a fine, fee or penalty with a gift card. If you receive a call telling you to pay a debt or some other cost via gift card, that is a red flag of a scam. Hang up immediately. Once a scammer has the codes and pins from a gift card, it is extremely difficult to recover any funds.

Pennsylvanians who believe they have been victims of a holiday scam can file a complaint with the Office of Attorney General Bureau of Consumer Protection at 800-441-2555, or scams@attorneygeneral.gov. To receive scam alerts from the Office of Attorney General, click here.
2023 PA Fishing Licenses, Permits, Gift Vouchers on Sale

Looking for the perfect gift or stocking stuffer for the angler in your life?

Fishing licenses, permits and vouchers for the 2023 season are on sale now through the HuntFishPA online portal, on the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission website, on your smartphone using the FishBoatPA mobile app, or by visiting one of nearly 700 retail license issuing agents. All 2023 licenses, permits, a unique collectible license button, and vouchers purchased now are valid immediately for up to 13 months, from Dec. 1, 2022, through Dec. 31, 2023.

As a reminder, the 2023 Statewide Mentored Youth Trout Day is March 25, and the 2023 Opening Day of Trout Season is April 1.
To learn more, click 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