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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 Voted Against Adding More Debt to the Commonwealth’s Pension System


As promised, I will always fight for fiscal responsibility and accountability in government. This week, I voted ‘no’ to increasing the unsustainable and unfunded liability of the state’s pension fund that would be caused by increasing retirement benefits to state employees and teachers who retired before July 1, 2001.

The legislation, which would add $1.8 billion in debt to the pension system for long-time retired school and state employees who left employment prior to 2001, advanced in the state House on Monday.

I understand the urgency of the situation, and I am not opposed to providing for our dedicated and deserving retired teachers and state employees. However, we need to fund it wisely, so we don’t continue to ask our working-class people to foot the bill. An affirmative vote would have been a ‘yes’ to higher property taxes, which are escalating out of control.

The current unfunded liability of the Public School Employees’ Retirement System (PSERS) and State Employee Retirement System (SERS) is at $80 billion dollars. This legislation would put the Commonwealth and its citizens further in debt. It is also a slap in the face to every working- class person.

Although I am fully committed to supporting our deserving retired teachers and state employees, fiscal responsibility must guide our decisions. We must ensure any enhancement in retirement benefits is backed by a stable, transparent funding source, not at the expense of escalating property taxes or increasing the state’s already substantial pension debt.
Bill Package Unveiled to Address Sexual Harassment


In response to recent cases of sexual harassment at the Capitol, I stood with many of my colleagues to support a legislative package to make significant reforms to protect both taxpayers and victims.

In March, then-Rep. Mike Zabel resigned after it became public that over several years he sexually harassed a lobbyist, another legislator and his former campaign manager. More recently, the state paid out a $295,000 sexual harassment settlement to a woman who worked for Mike Vereb. At the time of the offense, Vereb was Gov. Josh Shapiro’s secretary of legislative affairs.

The legislation includes a resolution that would tighten House Rules and increase transparency related to the number of complaints filed before the House Ethics Committee; amend the Commonwealth’s Right-to-Know Law to redact the name of a victim of sexual harassment or assault before a settlement agreement is released to the public; amend the PennWATCH Act to include information on each settlement paid to an individual or an employee of a Commonwealth agency, as a result of an action taken by a state employee; set forth a clear and detailed framework allowing the Commonwealth to seek reimbursement and accountability from those individuals whose improper and unlawful action result in settlements or judgments paid by the Commonwealth; and enshrine the federal non-disclosure agreement law into state law.

All of this legislation adds a greater degree of transparency and accountability in government so that you the taxpayer can see exactly where your money is being spent.
Education Bills Take Center Stage

The House this week passed two bills to help improve the cost and transparency for students attending one of Pennsylvania’s state-related universities.

House Bill 1461 maintains level state funding for Penn State University, the University of Pittsburgh and Temple University. Lincoln University would receive a 21% increase and the Pennsylvania College of Technology (under Penn State) would receive a 12% increase over last year, both of which amount to approximately $3.2 million for each school.

To boost transparency, the governor also signed into law House Bill 1556, which would ensure the universities are fully subject to the state’s Right-to-Know Law.

Unfortunately, in a last-minute maneuver by House Democrats, $150 million for the Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) and the Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credit (OSTC) programs was stripped out of House Bill 301, the state Education Code bill. This funding was agreed to in the state General Fund budget to provide a lifeline for many low-income students and those attending the state’s poorest performing schools so they can attend a school of their choice.

Due to these shenanigans, the Education Code bill is now back in the Senate, and the state remains without a completed budget package.
‘Clawback Act’ Disingenuous

This week, I spoke in the House chamber about House Bill 842 or the Clawback Act. The sponsor of the bill said it would require all new state grant and loan programs to include language to address the misuse of monies should an entity not meet the program’s guidelines and metrics. However, the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) contracts with the Commonwealth already require it.

In addition, an amendment by the sponsor to his own legislation took an existing policy of enforcement and allowing DCED to make it optional.

The bill is now disingenuous and unacceptable. All contract holders must be held to the same standards. Click on the video to watch my remarks.

 Watch Video Here

The legislation passed on party lines 102-101.
Support Our Girl Scouts!


Monday, it was Troop PA at the Capitol. I was honorarily inducted into the Girl Scouts.

The Troop PA Girl Scout Caucus is a bicameral caucus comprised of female Republican and Democrat members of the General Assembly who have served as Girl Scouts or support the Girl Scout organization.

The purpose is to bring together legislators of the Commonwealth and reinforce and promote the Girl Scout Program; to inspire Girl Scouts to pursue a career in government through witnessing and making connections with female legislators.

I was pleased to meet Girl Scouts from across the Commonwealth.
Our Newest Eagle Scout!

Congratulations to Katherine Steinfurth of Sewickley for attaining the rank of Eagle Scout! A member of Troop 9198 of Moon Township, Katherine used her community service requirement to spruce up the courtyards at Masonic Village.

She assembled new benches and rejuvenated the gardens with 175 new plants for residents to admire. It was a pleasure to recognize her hard work with a House of Representatives citation last night in the gardens.

Sen. Devlin Robinson joined us as he presented a citation on behalf of the Senate.

Pictured with me (from left) are Adam Steinfurth, Katherine’s father; Sen. Devlin Robinson; Katherine Steinfurth, and Sharon Steinfurth, Katherine’s mother.
New Scholarships to be Awarded at Moon Area High School


Recently, I had the pleasure of kicking off the first 5k run/walk dedicated to the late Michael Tolliver and Mary Fowler. All of the proceeds go to two new scholarships at Moon Area High School.

Mary was a cosmetologist for more than 50 years and Michael spent his career teaching for more than 20 years. To honor their legacy, Lisa Tolliver-Lehman and Teddy Tolliver organized the event to establish the scholarship fund award to two Moon Area High School seniors. One scholarship will be given to a student pursuing a vocational education degree and the other for a student pursuing a higher education or a college degree. Moon Area seniors can apply for the Mary and Mike Scholarship through the guidance office.

It was wonderful to see the community come together to honor Mary and Mike. Mike battled cancer, and as co-chair of the House Cancer Caucus, and someone who has experienced the loss of my late husband from lung cancer, I encourage everyone to get screened.


Pictured with me (from left) are Lisa Tolliver-Lehman and Teddy Tolliver.
Growing Our Nonprofit Organizations


I attended the 2023 Greater Pittsburgh Nonprofit Partnership (GPNP) Summit. I participated in a robust discussion about workforce development and the value of collaborative partnerships between nonprofits and government entities.

I specifically addressed the need for nonprofits to recruit and retain employees and the role of affordable health care.

My legislation, House Bill 555, would allow small businesses or nonprofits with less than 50 employees to pool together to afford cheaper health care.
Good Government Talk

I had a great time hosting "Good Government Talk" with Rep. Anita Kulik at Moon Area High School. It was a pleasure answering students’ questions and creating a dialogue. The best part was talking about how we work together on both sides of the aisle in the Legislature.

Pictured with me (from left) are John Trapizona, former teacher at Moon Area High School; Rep. Anita Kulik, Ryan Matsook, principal at Moon Area High School; and Chris D’Eramo, teacher at Moon Area High School.
Helping to Save Lives


I attended a press conference hosted by the American Cancer Society and the ALS Society in the Main Rotunda at the Capitol.

The press conference was to advocate for bipartisan legislation requiring insurance coverage of biomarker testing, which will result in precision medicine and individualized treatment that will ultimately help save lives and avoid unnecessary medical costs.
Drop Off Your Flags

According to the United States Flag Code, a tattered flag should be taken down and replaced. This collection effort will give you an opportunity to discard your flag in a dignified way.

Please see the graphic for more information!
PA Insurance Marketplace Now Open

Pennsylvania’s official health insurance marketplace, Pennie, is now open for Pennsylvanians to enroll in health coverage for 2024. This annual open enrollment period is the time when Pennsylvanians can compare quality health plans at the lowest costs through Pennie.

The deadline to enroll in coverage that starts New Year’s Day is Dec. 15. Plans and prices change every year, so anyone who needs coverage should review their options even if they have looked before. Anyone currently enrolled in Pennie should make sure their family size, income and contact information are up to date.

Pennie is the only place where Pennsylvanians can get financial savings to reduce the cost of health coverage and care. Currently, nine in 10 enrollees qualify and save more than $500 a month on average.

Pennie coordinates with Pennsylvania’s Medicaid program and picks up where Medicaid leaves off. Pennsylvanians who no longer qualify for Medicaid because of changes in income can see large savings on private health plans through Pennie. For anyone who is no longer eligible for Medicaid and still needs coverage, the open enrollment period is the last chance to enroll for 2024. For more information, click here.

Pennsylvanians interested in shopping for and purchasing health coverage through Pennie can visit pennie.com or call Pennie customer service at 1-844-844-8040. Individuals in need of assistance navigating coverage options, can go to pennie.com/connect to find help.
Be Alert for Property Tax Rent Rebate Scam

Scammers claiming to be from the Pennsylvania Treasury have been calling Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program participants and asking for bank account information in an effort to steal valuable personal data.

No one from the state will call and ask for bank information for this program. In this scam, the caller claims the information is needed so a Property Tax/Rent Rebate payment can be made by direct deposit. People should never give out their bank account information or other personal financial information simply because someone calls and asks for it.

The best way to contact the Pennsylvania Treasury with questions is with the form available here.
Happy Thanksgiving!

For centuries, Americans have come together in the spirit of thanksgiving. From the earliest traditions that began in Plymouth, Mass., in 1621 to the first official national observance in 1863, families have gathered in November to celebrate bountiful harvests and all that has been given to them.

In honor of the Thanksgiving holiday, state offices will be closed on Thursday, Nov. 23, and Friday, Nov. 24, along with my offices. PennDOT Driver License Centers will be closed on those dates as well, though many services are available online at dmv.pa.gov.

If you are traveling, be sure to check 511pa.com for the latest traffic and weather information.

From my family to yours, may you all have a safe, healthy and happy Thanksgiving.
Supporting Small Businesses

As a small business owner, please consider showing some love to the small businesses in our community throughout the holiday season but especially on Small Business Saturday, which is coming up on Saturday, Nov. 25.

Launched by American Express in 2010, this day is celebrated each year on the Saturday after Thanksgiving to encourage people to support the small businesses that help drive the economies of our communities.

Learn more about Small Business Saturday here.
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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