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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.
GEDTF Program Grants Awarded

One of my major goals as a state Representative is to return your tax dollars to the 44th District. As such, I am pleased to announce Gaming Economic Development and Tourism Fund (GEDTF) program grants awarded in the 44th District:

  •   Crescent Township - $43,070 for Crescent Township roadway improvements. The work will consist of milling and resurfacing existing township-owned roadways.
  •   Edgeworth Borough - $452,770 for upgrades to the Beaver Road retaining wall which includes a soil nail retaining wall, sidewalk, roadway restoration and a pavement base drain.
  •   Glen Osborne Borough – $134,800 for cured in place pipelining of 3,180 linear feet to replace old and deteriorated eight-inch clay sanitary sewer pipe along Beaver Road from Davis Lane to Sycamore Road.
  •   Haysville Borough - $200,000 for the Haysville Bridge and Road Repair Project. The work will include the removal of an existing stone wall, guardrail and excavation, as well as clearance and grubbing of an adjacent public right of way. The project will also include the construction of concrete culverts, milling and the installation of a jersey barrier wall.
  •   Leetsdale Borough - $228,000 to replace the existing deteriorated and hazardous Leetsdale Boat Launch Ramp.
  •   Moon Township - $150,000 for the Valley Ambulance Authority. The project will outfit all the employees with life-saving protective equipment when responding to an active shooter and other violent incidents.
  •   Moon Township - $123,760 for the Robert Morris University Campus Security Improvement project, which will address critical security needs for the safety of students, faculty and visitors.
  •   North Fayette Township - Western Allegheny Community Library - $200,000 to remove four inches of existing asphalt and resurface the entire asphalt driveway and parking area. The funding will also be used to apply traffic paint when the asphalt project is completed. The final phase of the project will be to install safety guard/guide rail along perimeter parking spaces and hillside drop offs.
  •   Sewickley Borough - $310,000 for improvements to the borough building and parking lot.
  •   Sewickley Borough - $100,000 for renovations of the Sweetwater Arts Center.
Grant Program for Community Anchor Institutions, Local Government Open

The $45 million COVID ARPA Pennsylvania Multi-Purpose Community Facilities Grant Program is now open for nonprofits, community centers, schools and local governments.
Qualifying projects would construct, acquire or improve facilities that are open to the public and directly enable work, education and health monitoring at the respective facility.

An example of a qualifying project would be a community center renovating a room to create a workforce training center. The same room might be available for a patron to do a telehealth visit with a doctor or a partner to provide an education class.

Awards will range from $250,000 to $2 million, and applications are due by April 20.

Further details about the program are available here. 
Pennsylvania Farm Show Spotlight

I had a great time at this year’s 108th Pennsylvania Farm Show in Harrisburg. During the week-long event, thousands of people from across the state visited the country’s largest indoor agricultural exposition under one roof to learn more about our state’s top industry, check out prize-winning animals and enjoy delicious Pennsylvania cuisine in the food court.

I spent some quality time at the Farm Show taking in the sights and sounds and learning more about agriculture in our Commonwealth.

I, along with Rep. Jill Cooper, stopped by the Black Dog Wine Company exhibit. The award-winning winery, located in Oakdale (North Fayette), sources much of its fruit from local Pennsylvania farms.

It is always nice to see my friend, former software engineer turned vintner Mark Rozum. For more information on Black Dog Wine, visit their website here. 

This was a very interesting exhibit I saw at the Farm Show. I, along with Rep. Cooper, visited with Carol Reed of Over Home Alpacas LLC from Bethel, Berks County.

A family farm for over six generations, Over Home Alpacas has raised quality alpacas of diverse genetics since 2007.

There is only one species of alpaca – but two fleece types, often referred to as breeds. They are the huacaya and suri alpacas. The huacaya fleece type is commonly described as looking like a “teddy bear” and the suri fleece type as looking like “dreadlocks.”

Click here for more information. 

The Pennsylvania Farm Show is not complete unless you sample a milkshake. I tried this year’s extra milkshake flavor, salted caramel. It was yummy!

I am pictured with (from left) Rep. Dan Moul, who serves as the House Republican Agriculture Committee chairman; Dave Smith, executive director of the Pennsylvania Dairymen’s Association; and Cassandra Coleman, executive director of the America250PA Commission.

Nearly 20,000 gallons of milkshakes are handed out throughout the Farm Show each year.
New Legislation on the Horizon

Prohibiting “No-Zero” Grading Polices

Recently, I introduced legislation that would prohibit school districts from requiring teachers to implement a minimum grade policy.

Specifically, House Bill 1933 would require a grade be given based on the student’s relative mastery of an assignment. The bill would also prohibit a teacher from assigning a minimum grade to an assignment without regard to quality of work. Some school districts have a “no-zero policy,” which prevents a teacher from giving a student a percentage grade of zero, even if the student did not answer any questions correctly.

Each student is different, and a no-zero, one-size-fits-all policy undermines a teacher’s efforts to differentiate for student’s needs and does not belong within our public school system.

House Bill 1933 has been assigned to the House Education Committee for consideration.

Financial Disclosure for Write-In Candidates

I have also introduced legislation that would require a write-in candidate to file a statement of financial interest within 30 days of having been nominated or elected unless that person declines the nomination or office within that period of time.

The candidate would be required to file the statement with the commission for state-level public office, and for county or local offices, with the governing authority of the political subdivision in which that person was the winner of a nomination or election.

At the heart of administering fair elections is the premise that all candidates should be treated equally, no matter which party they represent or how they come to have their name on the ballot.

House Bill 1932 is with the House State Government Committee for consideration.
Ribbon Cutting at Duquesne University

Congratulations Duquesne University on the ribbon cutting and opening of its new College of Medicine (COM) with a special ceremony and open house. I was honored to help celebrate this momentous occasion by congratulating President Ken Gormley and Jack McGinley, chair of the board of directors, for their dedication to seeing this project to fruition.

This new medical school will be a tremendous asset to the Pittsburgh region. The inaugural class of 85 students will enroll in August.

As a member of the House Professional Licensure Committee, we maintain jurisdiction overall legislation dealing with the 29 professional and occupational licensing boards located administratively in the Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs (BPOA) in the Department of State. Professionals range from physicians and cosmetologists to real estate agents and funeral directors.

COM is located on Forbes Avenue across from the UPMC Cooper Fieldhouse.
What do you like best about the Fern Hollow Nature Center?

Do you appreciate our environment? If you do, I suggest you visit Fern Hollow Nature Center located at 1901 Glen Mitchell Road, Sewickley.

Since 1997, the center has been a destination for more than 10,000 visitors from local schools, scouts, families, and individuals of all ages to experience the natural beauty of Sewickley Heights Borough, the region’s vast creek system and the gateway to the area’s other parks.

Recently, I met with Sam Cappezuto, executive director, and Anne Clark Ronce, capital campaign manager, to discuss their plans to expand the facility.
We Are Here To Serve You!

My district office is going on the road! We will have remote office hours at the following locations:

  •   Sewickley Borough Building
601 Thorn St Sewickley, PA 15143
First Tuesday and third Thursday of each month beginning on Thursday Jan. 18, from 10 a.m. to noon.
  •   North Fayette Community Center
580 Donaldson Rd Oakdale, PA 15071
Second Tuesday and fourth Thursday of each month beginning on Tuesday, Jan. 9, from 10 a.m. to noon.
  •   As always, our main office in Moon Twp at 1005 Beaver Grade Rd. will be open weekdays 9 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Stop by and visit. This is a great opportunity for you to ask questions, state concerns or find out what our office can do for you!
Let’s Talk! I Want to Know What’s on Your Mind!

EXPANDED Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program Now Open

The application period for the state’s 2023 Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program is now open for eligible Pennsylvanians to begin claiming rebates on property taxes or rent paid last year.

Income limits increased this year to $45,000 annually for both homeowners and renters, so if you were earning too much to qualify before, you may be eligible now. Remember to exclude 50% of Social Security when determining your income.

The law I supported to increase income limits also increased the maximum rebate to $1,000.

The program is open to residents age 65 years and older; widows and widowers 50 years and older; and people with disabilities 18 years and older.

Remember – you do not need to pay anyone for assistance to apply for the rebates. Apply online at mypath.pa.gov, or contact my office for help. Additional information about the program is available here.
Attention Students: House Fellowship Program Taking Applications

The Pennsylvania House Legislative Fellowship Program is accepting applications for its summer 2024 semester.

The 13-week program is based at Pennsylvania’s Capitol Building in Harrisburg where fellows are assigned to work in House standing committees or leadership offices; are compensated for their work (which may also include college credit); and are provided the opportunities to draft and present their own legislation, attend meet-and-greets with various public officials and staff, and tour some of the Commonwealth’s historic public spaces, to name a few.

Qualified applicants must be undergraduate juniors and seniors, graduate students or law school students; enrolled in a Pennsylvania college/university or a Pennsylvania resident enrolled in an out-of-state institution; and students of any major with a GPA of 3.0 or higher.

For more information or to apply, visit www.pahousefellowship.us. Applications can be submitted via email to pahousefellowship@pabmc.net. The deadline to apply is March 1.
Looking for Work? Love the Outdoors?

The Pennsylvania Game Commission and the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission are currently seeking applicants for the 37th State Game Warden Cadet Class and the 26th Class of Waterways Conservation Officer (WCO) Trainees, respectively.

Potential game wardens should have a passion for wildlife, the ability to perform law enforcement duties to protect wildlife and the ability to work independently. Candidates must have a high school diploma or equivalent, as well as successful completion of a state-level hunter safety course. Candidates must be at least 21 years of age at the time they start the program and must pass a background check as well as various medical and physical fitness tests. For additional information about qualifications and how to apply, click here. The deadline to apply is Thursday, March 7.

WCOs are state officers who are specifically trained in fishery conservation, watercraft safety and environmental protection. WCOs help to protect the Commonwealth’s aquatic resources, the fish that inhabit them, and the anglers and boaters who use them. Candidates must have a high school diploma or equivalent to qualify and pass a civil service exam. Candidates also must be at least 21 years of age at the time they start the program and must pass a background check as well as various medical and physical fitness tests. For additional information about qualifications and how to apply, click here. The deadline to apply is Monday, Feb. 5.
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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