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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.

We must begin to address what lies ahead rather than debate the past. The time is now for legislators to get back to session so we can build a bright future for the people who entrusted us to be their voice in Harrisburg.

I was recently appointed by the Republican-nominated Democrat Speaker Mark Rozzi (D-Berks) to join five of my colleagues from both sides of the aisle to create the “Speaker’s Workgroup to Move Pennsylvania Forward.” This six-member bipartisan work group has been tasked to help establish and propose a set of rules by which the House of Representatives can operate fairly and for the people of Pennsylvania.

The speaker’s workgroup traveled to different parts of the state to hear directly from constituents on how best to move forward and work as a cohesive body of the Legislature. We traveled to Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, State College and Wilkes-Barre as part of the Speaker’s Listening Tour.

The next step will be for the work group incorporate what we heard and include all revisions, additions or clarifications to the proposed rules before presenting it to both leaders and their caucuses, who will ultimately be the ones who will accept or reject the workgroup’s proposal. The plan is for new rules to be introduced when the House returns to session later this month.

In the meantime, I continue to seek your input. I am asking you to take a survey to tell me your top five state-related issues. You can answer the survey by clicking here.

Our goal as elected leaders is to address the needs of the people of Pennsylvania and continue governing to meet those needs most effectively!


Valerie Gaydos
House Should Reconvene to Address Rising Energy Costs

Individuals, families and employers across Pennsylvania are struggling with the rising cost of energy, which, in turn, is driving up the cost of goods and services.

Members of the House Republican Policy Committee highlighted the need to address this burden during a hearing at the state Capitol this week. The overall message is that instead of overregulating the industry, government needs to get out of the way to allow the industry to grow and bring costs down.

Testifiers included Dave Callahan, president of the Marcellus Shale Coalition; Rachel Gleason, executive director of the Pennsylvania Coal Alliance; Greg Moreland, Pennsylvania state director for the National Federation of Independent Business; Kevin Sunday, director of government affairs for the PA Chamber of Business and Industry: Rod Williamson, executive director of Industrial Energy Consumers of Pennsylvania; Terry Fitzpatrick, president and CEO of the Energy Association of Pennsylvania; and Mike Butler, Mid-Atlantic executive director for the Consumer Energy Alliance.

Video of the hearing is available here.  
Discussion with State’s Top Fiscal Watchdogs

My colleagues and I in the state House are preparing for this year’s challenging state budget.

Recently, the Republican Appropriations Committee hosted a roundtable discussion with State Treasurer Stacy Garrity and Auditor General Timothy DeFoor. Topics covered during the session included the current year’s budget surplus, the financial outlook for the 2023-24 budget, underfunded municipal pension funds and the Rainy Day fund.

In addition to budget issues, the state’s 529 tuition assistance program, as well as the PA ABLE program were discussed, along with the treasurer’s unclaimed property program and audits conducted by the auditor general’s office.
Local Fire, Ambulance Companies Receive Much-Needed Grants

I am pleased to announce that fire and emergency response organizations in the 44th District have received nearly $113,000 in grants from the state.

The grant program was initiated in 2000 and is open to all fire companies, volunteer ambulance services and volunteer rescue squads in Pennsylvania. Grant awards can be used for construction or repair of facilities, purchase or repair of equipment, debt reduction and training. The funding amounts are contingent on the recipients filing their grant agreements with the Office of the State Fire Commissioner.

Those fire and ambulance companies in our district receiving awards are:

  •   Aleppo Township Volunteer Fire Company - $13,581.
  •   Cochran Hose Company - $15,000.
  •   Crescent Township Volunteer Fire Department - $12,353.
  •   Fair Oaks Volunteer Fire Protective Association - $12,353.
  •   Leetsdale Fire Department - $12,598.
  •   Moon Township Volunteer Fire Department - $12,418.
  •   North Fayette Township Volunteer Fire Department - $14,318.
  •   Quaker Valley Ambulance Authority - $10,000.
  •   Valley Ambulance Authority - $10,000.

As a former emergency medical technician, I appreciate our first responders’ life-saving operations and thank them for their dedication.  
If You Have Questions, We Have the Answers!

West Allegheny Recognized as a ‘Lighthouse’ School District

Congratulations to the West Allegheny School District. It has been recognized as a model of positive change on behalf of the nation’s schools.

The American Association of School Administrators (AASA) and the School Superintendents Association released its latest list of standout public school districts last month. AASA’s list includes 49 school districts chosen from nearly 14,000 nationwide. Of those, 15 districts are located near Pittsburgh, making Western Pennsylvania home to the largest cluster of innovative school districts in the country.

West Allegheny was named one of 21 “Lighthouse” districts. Each of these districts are proving what’s possible in public education and lighting the way for the country at large.

The West Allegheny School District is a member of the Western Pennsylvania Learning 2025 Alliance, a cohort of 34 school districts working to prepare Pittsburgh-area students for tomorrow. The alliance provides workshops, expert speakers, networking and professional development services tailored to each school district’s unique goals.
Honoring Our Eagle Scouts

Congratulations to Connor Bolind on earning the rank of Eagle Scout. Connor’s project was to restore all 15 stations on the Findlay Fitness Trail in Clinton Park. Signs and instructions for each station had to be replaced. Connor is from Troop 830 and is pictured with his parents, Rochelle and Sean, and me.

Congratulations to Daniel Lewis who also earned his Eagle Scout badge. Daniel’s project was to refurbish a footbridge in Clinton Park. The Troop 830 member is pictured with his father, Daniel, and me.

By achieving the rank of Eagle Scout, Connor and Daniel have taken the first step on the road to becoming a leader of tomorrow. Pennsylvania needs leaders. Our community needs leaders. Keep in mind that the best leaders lead by example.
VITA 2022 Tax Season Information

The IRS's Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) programs offer free basic tax return preparation to qualified individuals.

The VITA program has operated for over 50 years. VITA sites offer free tax help to people who need assistance in preparing their own tax returns, including:

  •   People who generally make $60,000 or less.
  •   Persons with disabilities.
  •   Limited English-speaking taxpayers.

In addition to VITA, the TCE program offers free tax help, particularly for those who are 60 years of age and older, specializing in questions about pensions and retirement-related issues unique to seniors. Tax return preparation assistance is provided to senior citizens during the normal period for filing Federal income tax returns, which is from January 1 to April 15 each year. However, the program activities required to make sure elderly taxpayers receive efficient and quality tax assistance can be conducted year-round.

VITA locations within a 10-mile radius of zip code 15108 include:

  •   Robert Morris University - Wheatley Center, 410 Pennsylvania Ave., Moon Township.
The phone number is 888-553-5778 and an appointment is required.
  •   Western Allegheny Community Library - 181 Bateman Road, Oakdale. The phone is 724-695-8150 and an appointment is required.

Local Taxpayer Assistance office of the IRS:
1000 Liberty Ave., Pittsburgh
Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Call for an appointment: 844-545-5640
Think Spring! Trout Stocking Schedules Available

The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) announced its 2023 trout stocking schedules are now available online and on the FishBoatPA mobile app.
In the coming weeks, the trout stocking schedules will be available to constituents at my district office.

The PFBC will stock approximately 3.2 million adult trout in 697 streams and 126 lakes open to public angling. Stocking is set to begin the week of Feb. 21 in advance of the statewide Mentored Youth Trout Day on Saturday, March 25, and the statewide opening day of trout season on Saturday, April 1.

The 2023 adult trout stocking schedule is searchable by county, lists the waterways in alphabetical order, and indicates stocking dates and the species of trout that will be stocked.  

For more information about stocking, fishing and licensing, click here.
Pick Up Pennsylvania Registration Now Open

Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful has announced registration is open for the 2023 Pick Up Pennsylvania, a community improvement initiative.

Pick Up Pennsylvania is a year-long program; however, events scheduled from March 1 through May 31 receive free trash bags, gloves and safety vests provided by support from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, PennDOT and Keep America Beautiful, as supplies last.

Events can include litter cleanups, illegal dump cleanups, community greening and beautification, special collections, and education events.  

Click here to learn more, including how to register your group.
PennDOT Offers Highway Safety Survey

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) is seeking public input on traffic safety and driving behaviors through its online survey found at www.PennDOT.pa.gov/Safety.

The survey seeks information on motorists’ behavior behind the wheel to help inform program planning. This voluntary survey covers several topics including seat belt use, impaired driving, speeding, distracted driving, as well as bicycle, pedestrian and motorcycle safety.

The survey is available on PennDOT’s website through Feb. 28 and should take about five minutes to complete. All responses are anonymous.
Pay Attention to Your Heart Health!

February is American Heart Month, a time when all people can focus on their cardiovascular health.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), heart disease is the leading cause of death for men, women, and people of most racial and ethnic groups in the United States. It notes one person dies every 34 seconds in the United States from cardiovascular disease. About 697,000 people in the United States died from heart disease in 2020. That’s one in every five deaths.

To protect yourself, the CDC encourages people to choose healthy foods and drinks, keep a healthy weight, get regular physical activity and don’t smoke. People should also take charge of medical conditions that could increase their risk of heart disease, such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure or diabetes.  

Learn more about heart disease and how to protect yourself here. 
Let's Get Connected

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Office Locations
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