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Gaydos Secures State Funding for Critical Community Projects

  This week, I was proud to present a ceremonial check to Valley Ambulance Authority (VAA) in recognition of the $75,000 in grant money that I secured to help them for much needed repairs to the parking area and driveway.

Joining me were Executive Director and Chief of Valley Ambulance Authority, J.R. Henry; Vice President and member of the Valley Board of Directors, Pat Berdine; Quaker Valley Ambulance Authority Board member, Michael Lepore and Valley Ambulance Authority Deputy Chief, Denise Fantone.

Please help Valley service our community more effectively. Click here to sign up for or renew your subscription to Valley as all subscriptions help to assure that Valley has the staff, vehicles and equipment required to provide around-the-clock emergency protection for you and your family.

  I also visited the Crescent Township Volunteer Fire Department, presenting them a check for $76,000 that will go toward several much-needed renovations, including the replacement of the station roof due to age and deterioration. These incredibly important improvements will help the Crescent Township VFD to better serve our community.

Next, I visited the Ohio Township Parks and Recreation Department to present a check for $24,000, which will finance additions to the community park playground. These additions will feature inclusive, ADA-certified playground equipment aimed at providing a safe and accessible play environment for children with physical handicaps.

My last stop was the Sewickley Community Center, where I presented them with check for $75,000 grant toward improvements to the roofing and gutter systems, and for the expansion of an existing parking lot to accommodate day care traffic. An organization like the Sewickley Community Center provides invaluable services to our neighbors, and they expressed just how critical this funding will be in making much-needed improvements to their facility.
Gaydos’ Drug Pricing Transparency Bill to Benefit Healthcare Consumers

Click here to view video.

Seeking to increase transparency in prescription drug pricing, I recently introduced House Bill 943, a bill that would end the long-standing “gag clause” imposed on pharmacy technicians barring them from informing customers of lower-cost alternatives at the pharmacy counter. I am proud to report that my House colleagues voted unanimously to approve this long-overdue legislation.

For some less expensive, generic medicines, co-pays can often be more expensive than if the patient simply pays out-of-pocket and bypasses insurance. However, companies that manage prescription drug benefits on behalf of health insurers often include in their contracts a “gag clause” that prevents pharmacists from sharing this information with their customers.

House Bill 943 would put an end this gag clause and ensure pharmacists are empowered to help their customers by sharing information that could save them money on their out-of-pocket costs for medications, not to mention their overall health care.

Click here to learn more about House Bill 943. For more information about the House Republican initiative for a #HealthierPA, visit the Caucus website.
Oversight Committee Report: Improper Medicaid Payments Cost Taxpayers Millions

The House Government Oversight Committee released a staff report on the state’s Medicaid program, which brings to light provider fraud and improper payments.

The report found $694.1 million in state funded improper payments and $43.5 million paid for provider preventable conditions, an example of which is the wrong surgery being performed on a patient.

This is inexcusable and needs corrected. As your State Representative, I look forward to working toward real solutions to this very serious problem.

To read the full report, click here.
Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Delivers More Savings

Thanks to the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, you’ll be getting another credit on your utility bill next year.

The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) recently approved PPL’s plan to distribute an additional $44 million in federal tax reform savings to the utility’s customers during calendar year 2020. These savings accumulated between Jan. 1, 2018, and June 30, 2018.

PPL proposed to begin returning tax reform savings to consumers in the form of a “negative surcharge” or credit on their monthly utility bills. PPL also requested the savings be returned during the 2020 calendar year – rather than waiting until May of 2021 – to address the commission’s stated intent to “avoid unreasonable delays in dealing with such funds.”

Click here for more information.
Protecting Our Energy Producers and Consumers

Legislation introduced in the House and Senate this session would require legislative authorization before Pennsylvania could impose a carbon tax on employers engaged in energy generation, manufacturing or other industries operating in the Commonwealth, or enter into any multi-state program, such as the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) that would impose such a tax.

On Oct. 3, the governor issued an executive order directing the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to commence RGGI regulations. RGGI would establish a regional cap on the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) pollution that power plants can emit by establishing a trading system. Each unit of trade, known as an allowance, would represent authorization for a power plant to emit one short ton (2,000 pounds) of CO2. Power plants in RGGI-member states can trade allowances, preventing the total amount of CO2 emissions in the region from increasing. RGGI would also establish a carbon tax on fossil fuel users for the resulting CO2 emissions.

House Bill 2025 contends that the authority to make such a decision lies with the General Assembly, not with the governor’s office.

Legislators and industry union members in attendance stated that Pennsylvania’s entrance into RGGI would force energy producers to close and/or move out of state as well as cut hundreds of jobs, drastically increase the price of energy and severely damage Pennsylvania’s economy.

Whether or not Pennsylvania should join RGGI is another discussion; this bill simply aims to clarify who has the authority to make that decision.
Department of Aging Warns Seniors of Genetic Testing Scam

The Department of Aging is warning Pennsylvania seniors, their families and caregivers about a new scam targeting older adults.

Scammers are offering “free” genetic testing, claiming it is covered through Medicare, as a means for the senior to avoid disease or to find the right medications. This is simply an effort to gain access to a senior’s personal Medicare information, which can lead to access to financial information and more.

The Administration for Community Living suggests the following tips to avoid being scammed: Do not accept genetic testing services, including a cheek swab, from someone at a community event; always be cautious about giving out your personal information, including your Medicare number; don’t accept a genetic testing kit through the mail unless it was ordered by your physician; and always review your Medicare Summary Notice or Explanation of Benefits, watching for words such as “gene analysis” or “molecular pathology.”

If you or a loved one have already received a genetic testing cheek swab or screening that was not ordered by a trusted provider, or have any concerns about possible fraud, find and contact your local Senior Medicare Patrol here or call 1-877-808-2468.
Deadline Nears for Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program

Older adults and Pennsylvanians with disabilities have until Dec. 31 to apply for the state’s 2018 Property Tax/Rent Rebate program. Remember, assistance through my offices is always free. You need not pay a private firm for assistance.

The rebate program benefits eligible Pennsylvanians age 65 and older; widows and widowers age 50 and older; and people with disabilities age 18 and older. The income limit is $35,000 a year for homeowners and $15,000 annually for renters, and half of Social Security income is excluded.

For additional information and applications, click here, or contact my office for assistance.
Hunters Can Share Their Harvest

To help families, individuals and seniors who are in need, the Hunters Sharing the Harvest (HSH) program is encouraging hunters from across the Commonwealth to share their deer harvest and provide thousands of pounds of venison.

The program partners with the Pennsylvania Game Commission, Department of Agriculture and many other sportsmen and charitable organizations. Since 1991, HSH has distributed more than 1.2 million pounds of donated venison.

Hunters can donate all or part of a harvested deer by taking it to a participating processor, which will then distribute the ground venison to food banks and pantries. For more information, including a list of participating processors in the area, visit www.ShareDeer.org.
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District Office:
1009 Beaver Grade Road, Suite 220, Moon Township, PA 15108 | Phone: (412) 262-3780, Fax: (412) 262-3783
Capitol Office:
Room 428, Irvis Office Building, PO Box 202044, Harrisburg PA 17120-2044 | Phone: (717) 787-6651 |
Email: vgaydos@pahousegop.com