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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.
How to Prevent Identity Theft

Your safety will always remain one of my top priorities. That is why the topic of my recent legislative breakfast was cybercrime and identity theft protection. Nobody could have predicted the influence technology would have on our lives and the problems we have with cybercrime today.

We had panelists who took the time to share their expertise and experience. The discussion was lively and informative.

Our panelists emphatically explained you must be alert of any or all unknown communication through your email inbox.

Here are some very important messages:
  •   Any message that creates a sense of urgency like scare tactics or threats must be researched thoroughly.
  •   A deal that seems too good to be true is false.
  •   Do not give out personal information when asked to do so.
  •   Do not be coerced into giving personal information because you have been promised a prize in return for money.
  •   If you believe your identity has been stolen or you have been scammed, please call my office and I will help you contact the correct state agencies.

As chair of the House Cyber Security Caucus, advocating for your security is paramount. Should you need assistance reporting identity theft or fraud to any state agency please contact my office at 412-262-3780.

Identity theft is one of the fastest growing crimes in the country. Although identity thieves prey on senior citizens especially, anyone – regardless of age, income or educational background – can be victimized. Identity theft is unfortunately a prevalent problem in our society.
We need to be smart in order to keep these thieves from causing financial hardship.

Click here to watch my legislative breakfast in its entirety.  

The panelists pictured are (from left) Det. Cpl. Devin Small, police department of Moon Township; Steven Lampo, secret service agent for the FBI; Brooklynn Riordan, secret service agent for the FBI; Phil Little, education and outreach special for the Office of Pennsylvania Attorney General; John Franolich, cyber security expert for the FBI, and Rep. Stephenie Scialabba (R-Butler), cyber security attorney.
Hosting Town Hall Meetings on Proposed Landslide Legislation

Pictured with me (from left) are Daniel Boin, associate professor at the University of Pittsburgh; Bobby Wilson, commissioner from the city of Pittsburgh; Rep. Emily Kinkead; Chris Eyster, commissioner from Ross Township; and Joshua Fidler, legislative affairs for the Pennsylvania Department of Treasury.

Pictured (from left) are Rep. Emily Kinkead; Chris Eyster, commissioner from Ross Township, and Bobby Wilson, commissioner from the city of Pittsburgh.

Rep. Emily Kinkead and I hosted two town hall meetings on proposed landslide insurance legislation. The first town hall was held at the Sewickley Valley YMCA Activity Center, Sewickley, and the second at the Activities Building, Riverview Park, Pittsburgh. Our bill, House Bill 589, 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.

The program would run out of DEP, which has been managing the Mine Subsidence Insurance Program for the past 60 years.

Landslides are a major issue. Helping citizens and communities mitigate or recover from major catastrophic events, such as those caused by landslides, is precisely where government assistance should be applied.

Thank you to the panelists who attended to share their expertise and experience with landslides in the region!

Click here to watch our first town hall meeting in Sewickley.
Local Elementary School Catches ‘The Fever’ of America250PA

My staff and I had a fabulous time at J.H. Brooks Elementary School in Moon Township. Many local mascots and an historical reenactor of Bishop Richard Allen joined the America250PA campaign to celebrate the upcoming Semiquincentennial anniversary of the United States. America250PA is hoping to make history fun for students by reading “K is for Keystone: A Pennsylvania Alphabet” by Kristen Kane and Laura Knorr.

The kids’ faces told the story. They were very enthusiastic to have guest readers in their classrooms. Thank you to all the volunteers who read. The best part of the day was seeing the kids’ excitement for the Pirate Parrot. We were also joined by Ace, the Community College of Allegheny County - Allegheny Campus Wild Cat, the Washington Wild Things mascot (Wild Thing), and Carlow University's Shammy.

Pictured with the mascots and me is Trooper Melinda Bondarenko.

It was my honor to be appointed as the House Republican Caucus designee for the Pennsylvania Commission for the Unted States Semiquincentennial (America250PA). In addition, I was chosen to be a member of the Fundraising and Historical Preservation committees.

Click here to watch the event.
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

To honor those who have fought breast cancer or who are fighting it now, the fountain at the Pennsylvania State Capitol’s East Wing has been dyed pink again this year in recognition of October as Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

My sincerest thank you to Pennsylvania Breast Coalition President and Founder Pat Haplin-Murphy for hosting a recent event at the Capitol.

According to the American Cancer Society, breast cancer is the most common cancer in women in the United States, except for skin cancers. It represents about 30% of all new female cancers each year. Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in women, second only to lung cancer.

The pink fountain is also a reminder to all women of the importance of mammograms and early detection. People with low to moderate income who are uninsured or underinsured and meet certain age requirements may qualify for testing through the Pennsylvania Breast and Cervical C.

To learn about the program and eligibility, click here.

Pictured with me (from left) are Rep. Tim Brennan (D-Berks), Rep. Anita Kulik (D-Allegheny) and Sen. Devlin Robinson (R-Allegheny)
Sewickley Bridge Update

The Sewickley Bridge will close to traffic in both directions on Friday, Oct. 20, from 9 p.m. to 7 a.m. on Monday, Oct. 23. The bridge will reopen to traffic once the repair has been completed.

Crews will conduct repair work on an expansion dam on the bridge. All bridge traffic will be detoured.

Please be safe around the construction site.
Key Dates for Upcoming Election

The 2023 Municipal Election is coming up on Tuesday, Nov. 7. Voters will have the opportunity to elect a new state Supreme Court justice, judges to serve on the Superior and Commonwealth courts, and an array of county, municipal and school district officials.

If you are not already registered to vote, the deadline to do so is THIS Monday, Oct. 23. You may register in person at your county elections office, by mail or by visiting the state’s online voter registration website.

The last day to apply for a mail-in or civilian absentee ballot is Tuesday, Oct. 31, by 5 p.m. Completed ballots must be returned by 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 7.

For more information about voting in the Commonwealth, including how to check your registration and voting location, visit www.vote.pa.gov.
We Stand with Israel

The state House unanimously approved a resolution this week stating unequivocal support for the state of Israel in the face of recent terrorist attacks by Hamas. Thousands of innocent civilians have lost their lives in the conflict, while thousands more have been injured and an estimated 150 people, including American citizens, have been taken hostage.

The resolution calls for justice and safety for both the Israeli and Palestinian people and condemns the violent actions of Hamas. Finally, we call on Congress to provide the state of Israel with the support it needs to ensure the safety and security of its people.

To read the full resolution, click here.
House Advances Consumer Protections for Concertgoers

Working to protect consumers looking to purchase tickets for concerts and other events, the state House adopted two bills aimed at stopping speculative ticketing and combating bots that create an artificial scarcity of tickets, driving up prices for consumers.  

House Bill 1658 would essentially prohibit ticket resellers from advertising or offering tickets they don’t have. It also would prohibit a secondary ticket platform from using a domain or subdomain name of the specific rights holder, venue, performer, group or team unless authorized by that entity.  

House Bill 1378 would prevent scalpers from using software to purchase items over the internet in bulk for the purpose of resale and not personal use. This legislation would make it unlawful to circumvent a security measure, access control system, or other technological control that enforces posted purchasing limits online.

The bills were inspired in part by last year’s pre-sale for the Taylor Swift Eras Tour that resulted in thousands of consumers filing complaints with the state attorney general’s office. Both measures go to the Senate for consideration.
Grants, Assistance Available to Senior Community Centers

The Pennsylvania Department of Aging is inviting qualified senior centers to apply for competitive grants starting Wednesday, Nov. 1.

A total of $2 million is available for projects aimed at boosting participation and programming at senior centers and enabling the centers to provide a safe and healthy environment for participants. An additional $1 million is available for noncompetitive grants.

The department is hosting an informational webinar outlining applicant and project eligibility and explaining in detail all grant-related requirements and expectations on Wednesday, Oct. 25, at 10 a.m. This webinar will contain information for both the competitive application and the non-competitive award. Officials with Area Agencies on Aging and senior community centers are encouraged to participate.  

The webinar will be available here. The meeting number is 2535 629 1783, and the meeting password is “grant” (or 47268 from phones and video systems). To join by phone only, call 1-844-621-3956 and use the access code 2535 629 1783.

Organizations that intend to submit a competitive grant application this year should be sure to register their organization in the Electronic Single Application system in preparation to apply. Click here to register.
Museums, County Historical Societies Encouraged to Apply for Grants

The Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC) is now accepting applications from qualified museums and official county historical societies for nearly $2 million in Cultural and Historical Support Grants.

The grants are available to eligible museums located in Pennsylvania with annual operating budgets exceeding $100,000 and at least one full-time professional staff person (some museums are not eligible if they are eligible for grant support from other state agencies). The maximum award for museums is $65,000. Grants awards of $2,500 to $4,000 are available to official county historical societies.

Applications are due by Monday, Nov. 6. For details, click here.
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month

According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States. During one year, this equates to more than 10 million women and men. An estimated one in four women and one in nine men will be subjected to abuse by an intimate partner.

Domestic violence is a pattern of abusive behavior used to establish power and control over an intimate partner, causing both physical and emotional harm. Victims may be subjected to abuse, harassment, threats, vandalism, trespassing, burglary, theft and stalking.

As one of the most chronically underreported crimes, domestic violence affects men and women in all racial, ethnic, religious, educational, social and economic backgrounds.  

More information about domestic violence and services available to help victims is available 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