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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.
Discrimination of any kind must not be tolerated. This week, I was a “no” vote on House Bill 300, which the Democrats called the “Fairness Act.” So, why would anyone vote against it? Because it’s really not fair at all. Supporters of this bill are not telling you the whole story.

I fully support the intent of House Bill 300 to ensure no person is ever subject to discrimination, but this legislation would broadly amend the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act (PHRA) to include protection of individuals which is stated in the language as “actual or perceived” members of any protected class. “Perceived” is not included in the federal Civil Rights Act of 1964 and its proposed inclusion in the PHRA is a divisive distraction focusing on our differences instead of what brings us together.

With this increased ambiguity, this legislation fails to recognize the rights of already protected classes such as people with legitimately held religious beliefs, many originated through their First Amendment-ensured free exercise of religion. It also undermines the rights of women to play competitive sports free from biological men on their women’s sports teams.

In March 2022, I was a prime sponsor of legislation that would support women’s rights in competitive sports. House Bill 972 would have protected opportunities for women and girls established in Title IX in athletics by ensuring women are not forced to compete against biological males playing on women’s sports teams. House Bill 972 passed the General Assembly; however, it was vetoed by former Gov. Tom Wolf.

At this time, it is important for the Legislature to get back to work on issues which unite us, not which divide us, and to address issues such as finding ways to streamline government, increase transparency, reduce taxes and get the economy moving again. Putting money back into your pockets will remain my priority.  


Valerie Gaydos
This week, the House considered two pieces of legislation to create criminal penalties for failing to report lost or stolen firearms and not safely storing firearms.

I fully support and endorse gun safety, and strongly believe that everyone should have guns in safe storage when not in use, and to report when they realize a firearm has gone missing or is stolen. However, criminalizing without educating is shortsighted and unfair. Mandating without incentivizing is a wrong way to govern. That’s why I proposed a couple of amendments to the bills. One would have required the attorney general to create signage on both concepts and have it posted at gun dealers. In addition, I offered an amendment to exempt gun safes and locks from the sales tax because having proper storage is essential. I have submitted approaches to increase gun safety, to increase education on the responsibility of reporting lost or stolen firearms, but unfortunately the Democrats did not consider my other amendments to make this legislation better, so I withdrew them. Click here to watch my remarks.

Click here to view video.

I will continue to fight to ensure that commonsense gun laws are put in place, that existing laws are being enforced and that law-abiding citizens are not unfairly charged as criminals. 
Keystone Commitment: A Future-Focused, People-Driven Pledge to All Pennsylvanians

Our Commonwealth and nation are at a crossroads. Inflation continues to soar, and you feel it every time you gas up your car, heat your home, or even just put dinner on the table.

At the same time, communities in Pennsylvania are dealing with rampant violent crime. We can no longer afford to sit back and watch the impact of status quo policies; we must lead the way to a better future for everyone. That is the Keystone Commitment, a promise to listen to your concerns and promote policies that will help you and your family during these unprecedented times.

The Keystone Commitment is a people-driven, future-focused platform that delivers hope through the opportunity to experience earned success. It is built on four cornerstones: a thriving economy, affordable living, safer communities, and a child-first, family-focused education.

Watch for more in the coming weeks about our commitment and the policies we are working to advance in the state House. Learn more at www.KeystoneCommitment.com.
National Healthy Kids Day a Big Success

Last weekend, I teamed up with Sen. Devlin Robinson and the Sewickley Valley YMCA to host National Healthy Kids Day at the Sewickley Valley YMCA.

We had a great showing of kids and their parents at this event. All the activities were designed to inspire kids to get active while simultaneously teaching families how to develop routines that support mental and physical health at home.

I want to thank everyone who volunteered to make National Healthy Kids Day in our area a great success.
Planting Trees in Leetsdale


Recently, I had a great time in Leetsdale helping to plant trees in public spaces and Henley Park with volunteers. Thank you to the Leetsdale Borough Council, Western Pennsylvania Conservancy and all of the volunteers. Councilwoman Maria Napolitano dedicated three of the trees to special citizens who have passed away: Bob Kusnirak, Jerry Freeble and Ed Schroth.

TreeVitalize Pittsburgh has planted more than 38,500 trees in 57 municipalities in Allegheny County and 73 City of Pittsburgh neighborhoods since 2008 to improve the quality of life and the environment in the Pittsburgh region.

TreeVitalize Pittsburgh is a joint project of Allegheny County Parks, the City of Pittsburgh, Tree Pittsburgh, PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy.

Be sure to visit Henle Park in Leetsdale to see the great variety of trees in this wonderful little park.
Apply Now for a Sen. James Ferlo Memorial Small Grant

The Sen. James Ferlo Memorial Small Grants Program is now open! The open application will conclude, Friday, May 26, at 5 p.m. The Port of Pittsburgh Commission is offering this opportunity for a second year. The program has been renamed in honor of the late Sen. James Ferlo, who was instrumental in the program’s creation.

Eligible projects will enhance the utilization of our waterways for the betterment of our communities. This will include: water stewardship, advocacy, outreach and education, safety and/or environmental measures, and an increase in the awareness of our rivers and their impacts, and the use of new concepts and ideas. The maximum award amount is $10,000.

Applicants may be from commercial or nonprofit entities, including municipalities and counties, community or volunteer-based organizations, as well as educational and academic organizations which will use this grant to augment their existing resources to help further the Port of Pittsburgh Commission’s mission of assistance to our waterways and communities. Awards will be announced after the PPC Board meeting on July 14.

If you are interested in applying, please go here where you can download the application, budget template, and related eligibility information.
Hail to the Champions!

I celebrated the Moon Area High School Girls Soccer team at the Capitol in Harrisburg.

The Lady Tigers won the PIAA Class 3A title and their second straight WPIAL championship this season, so I wanted to recognize their outstanding efforts by showing them around our beautiful complex and presenting each team member with a House of Representatives citation.

The House Speaker also acknowledged the team during our House session. Click here to watch.

We are proud of your accomplishments. Congratulations to coach Bill Pfeiffer and the Lady Tigers.

It was my pleasure to welcome the Moon Area High School Gymnastics team to the state Capitol in Harrisburg.

The Lady Tigers captured the WPIAL team championship in February for the second straight year. This is their fourth win! I presented each member of the team with a House of Representatives citation for their incredible work.

The girls were recognized on the House floor by the Speaker. Click here to watch.

The team was also provided with Mrs. T’s Pierogies that were hand prepared by my colleague Representative Tim Twardzic whose father founded the famous pierogi company in 1952.

My thanks to Sen. Devlin Robinson for joining us. Congratulations to coach Amy Caprino and her team on a job well done.
Prevent Lyme: Check for Ticks

May is Lyme Disease Awareness Month. As you spend time outdoors, it is important to check yourself, loved ones and pets for ticks and be aware of the symptoms of Lyme disease and other tick-related ailments.

The first line of defense against Lyme is to take precautions outdoors by treating clothing and gear with products containing 0.5% permethrin, using insect repellent, and avoiding wooded and brushy areas with high grass or leaf litter. When you return indoors, check your clothing, gear and pets for ticks; shower as soon as possible after being outdoors; and check your body for ticks, particularly in areas such as under the arms, in and around the ears, back of the knees and other similar areas.

If bitten, an individual should monitor the area for the appearance of a bull’s eye rash, though the rash does not develop in all cases. Early symptoms of Lyme disease include fever, fatigue, headache and muscle aches. However, symptoms may progress to arthritic, neurologic and cardiac symptoms if not treated.

Lyme disease is caused by the bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi and is transmitted by the bite of a blacklegged tick or deer tick. If you pull a tick from yourself, a loved one or your pet, you may have it tested to determine if it carries Lyme or other tick-borne diseases. More information about how to get a tick tested at the East Stroudsburg University Tick Lab is available here.  

Learn more about Lyme disease symptoms, treatment and prevention here.
May is Bike Safety Month

Did you know anyone under the age of 12 must wear a helmet when riding a bicycle in Pennsylvania? This law applies to anyone operating the bicycle, riding as a passenger, or riding in an attached restraining seat or trailer.

May is Bike Safety Month, and PennDOT is reminding bicycle enthusiasts of the following safety tips:
  •   Always wear a properly fitted helmet.
  •   Ride on the right side of the road or trail, with the flow of traffic.
  •   Obey all traffic signs and signals.
  •   Slow down when you approach an intersection.
  •   Look left, look right, look left again, then look over your shoulder before entering an intersection.
  •   Use proper hand signals when turning to communicate with drivers.
  •   Wear bright or reflective clothing to help drivers see you.
  •   Adjust the bicycle to fit you properly.
  •   Maintain your bike regularly to keep it working smoothly.

Also, Pennsylvania law requires drivers to give bicyclists 4 feet of space when passing them at a reduced speed. When approaching a bike rider, slow down, check for oncoming traffic and decide if you can safely pass while maintaining the 4 feet distance.

Please visit www.penndot.pa.gov for more bicycle safety tips.
Celebrate Small Businesses

As National Small Business Week and Pennsylvania Small Business Week draw to a close on Saturday (May 6), it is important to remember these employers are the backbone of our economy.

Pennsylvania is home to 1.1 million small businesses that employ approximately 2.5 million workers.

Small business owners have displayed incredible perseverance and resilience in the face of challenges like the COVID-19 pandemic, staffing shortages and supply chain disruptions.

I hope you will join me in thanking and patronizing our small businesses year round.
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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