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The Latest News from Your State Representative

In this edition: 

  •   Rep. Gaydos’ Year-in-Review
  •   My Weekly Wrap-Up Video
  •   Financial Reform Bills to Improve PA’s Fiscal House
  •   House Liquor Committee Passes Consumer Convenience Bill
  •   A Proud Tradition: The Army/Navy Game
  •   Lighting of the Capitol Christmas Tree
  •   Protect Against the Flu
  •   Environmental Education Grant Application Deadline Approaching
  •   Building Our Workforce, Training Opportunities
  •   Calls for Oversight of State Tax Credit Program Grow
  •   Strengthening Criminal Tax Enforcement
  •   Keep Up with Me on Social Media!
Rep. Gaydos’ Year in Review

Season’s Greetings! As my first year in office as your State Representative in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives concludes, I wish to express my gratitude to the good people in both the community and in the Legislature who I have had the opportunity to work with toward achieving the goals we identified as being top priorities in the district. One such priority of mine during this first year in office was meeting face-to-face with as many constituents as possible so I could hear firsthand the concerns and hopes that we have for our community—making myself available to solve the problems that we face, both at home and at the state level.

I am pleased to report that I have kept good on my promise to fight for greater accountability and transparency in our state government—making sure that your hard-earned tax dollars are spent wisely for the betterment of our communities.

Fiscal Responsibility

I believe that fiscal responsibility begins at the individual level. Following through on my commitment to saving taxpayer dollars wherever possible, I have taken a number of personal measures in my own office to do just that and have saved taxpayers $15,752.55 this year alone.

  •   Refusing to accept a taxpayer-funded automobile: + $7,800.
  •   Using lodging instead of per diem expenses: + $6,752.55.
  •   Declining a taxpayer-funded cell phone: + $1,200.
As the year draws to a close, I want to share with you some of the achievements we have accomplished to help the people of the 44th District and the entire Commonwealth.

Investing in Our Community

As promised, I have advocated for state funding to benefit local projects at every turn. In Allegheny County, we send our fair share of taxes to Harrisburg every year. So, I am pleased to report that during my first year in office, I secured $5,710,592 in state grants that will go directly toward improvements in our community. These grants include:

  •   Grants totaling $141,267 to municipal projects in Moon Township.
  •   Grants totaling $135,000 to municipal projects in North Fayette Township.
  •   A grant of $100,000 to a municipal project in Findlay Township.
  •   A grant of $100,000 to a municipal project in Sewickley Borough.
  •   A grant of $76,000 to the Crescent Township Volunteer Fire Department.
  •   A grant of $75,000 to the Valley Ambulance Authority in Moon Township.
  •   A grant of $24,366 to Quaker Valley School District for security improvements.
  •   A grant of $24,000 to the Ohio Township Parks and Recreation Department.
  •   A grant of $19,959 to West Allegheny School District for security improvements.
  •   A grant of $15,000 awarded jointly to Sewickley Hills, Bell Acres and Franklin Park Borough for improvements to the Allegheny Land Trust.
  •   A grant of $4 million to the Allegheny County Airport Authority.
  •   A grant of $1 million to the Pittsburgh Airport Innovation Campus.

Making Government Work for You

On the legislative side of things, I personally authored and introduced eight bills, two resolutions and co-sponsored 118 other bills and resolutions this year, many of which help to keep our government in check.

  •   Introduced the Consumer Prescription Drug Pricing and Freedom Disclosure Act to remove the “gag order” that currently bars pharmacists from disclosing information that could save their customers money on their out-of-pocket costs for medications. This bill passed unanimously through the House; it now awaits action in the Senate. 
  •   Supported legislation that would require legislative approval before Pennsylvania could enter into any multi-state program, such as the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), that would impose a tax on citizens. This is not about whether our state should or should not enter into RGGI; that is a discussion for another day. This bill simply reinforces Article 3, Section 10 of the Pennsylvania Constitution, requiring that all revenue bills originate and are approved by the House of Representatives, not by executive order.
  •   Prime sponsored Protection for Juvenile Sexual Assault Victims legislation that would require school districts to assign a student convicted of a sexually based offense to a school building other than the one attended by their victim or the victim’s sibling. This bill would further protect victims of juvenile sexual abuse.
  •   Introduced a bill amending the Public Works Contractors’ Bond Law to tighten the requirements for acceptable financial securities required for projects, and to raise the project threshold amount.

Reducing Gun Violence

Earlier this year, in response to growing concerns about the threat of gun violence, I joined my colleagues in the House to send a letter to Auditor General Eugene DePasquale requesting a formal audit of the Pennsylvania Instant Criminal Background Check System (PICS). Although the system has been in place for more than three decades, we have never seen its functions evaluated by a formal audit. The Auditor General’s office announced their audit of the PICS system this past June. I look forward to seeing the results so that all Pennsylvanians may be secure in the knowledge that this system is operating as intended.

Giving the Public a Voice

When problems arise in our community, my office has worked around the clock to ensure the public is given a voice. In August, upon receiving word that Duquesne Light Company planned to exercise eminent domain to obtain a portion of private land in Moon Township, I worked with the Pennsylvania Utility Commission to arrange a public input hearing where residents could voice their opinions and concerns on the project. The PUC Line Sighting Approval process is still ongoing at this time.

Future Plans 

While I am proud of what we did in 2019, there is much work to do in the coming year. Some of the larger issues we will be addressing include real estate property taxes. A bipartisan, bicameral task force comprised House and Senate members and representatives from the Governor’s office has been working on several proposals to address property taxes. Five options were presented to leadership but have not been formally introduced yet. I will share these proposals with our constituents for your feedback. I am confident we can move something forward in the 2020 session to finally give seniors and property owners the relief they need. The good news is that none of these options include a new tax on retirement income.

Going forward, I plan to introduce legislation designed to reduce the size and bloat of the state legislature. I have already moved forward with bills intended to amend the Pennsylvania Constitution to reduce the number of legislative districts from 203 to 151. Such a change would not only provide a cost savings to taxpayers but would also streamline our state legislature in an effort to transform the assembly into a more efficient lawmaking body.

This coming spring, we will host several educational and informative events to help our local residents stay up to date on the latest developments in the legislature. I invite you to also stay informed by subscribing to receive my regular emails at www.repgaydos.com and follow me on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/RepGaydos.
My Weekly Wrap-Up Video


It was another busy week in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives this week, as my colleagues and I closed out the year getting to work for the people of the Commonwealth, dealing with bills designed to improve our state’s fiscal standing, incentivize the expansion of employee stock ownership plans, expanding consumer options in liquor sales and more! Watch me address those topics and more in this final 2019 edition of the Gaydos Report.
Financial Reform Bills to Improve PA’s Fiscal House

On Wednesday, I joined by fellow representatives to roll out our financial reform package to strengthen the financial management of the Commonwealth. No dollar collected, held or spent by state government belongs to the government. That money belongs to the taxpayers, and it is our responsibility as elected officials to act as good stewards of that money, spending it as carefully as we would spend our own.

The bills (including House Bills 1988, 1989, 1990 and 1991) would reduce state borrowing, improve the state’s credit and strengthen Pennsylvania’s Rainy Day Fund.

Learn more about the bill package here and click here to watch the press conference in full.
House Liquor Committee Passes Consumer Convenience Bill

The House Liquor Control Committee, of which I am a member, passed legislation this week that would make shopping for wine a lot more convenient.

Under current law, customers are only permitted to purchase 4 regular-sized wine bottles at a time. House Bill 1279 would double that limit. This way, if a consumer finds a great deal on a wine they like, or if they are purchasing wine for a weekend get-together with friends and family, they will be able to purchase a greater quantity of wine at a time without having to make two or more trips to do so.

House Bill 1279 will now go to the House floor for a full vote.
A Proud Tradition: The Army/Navy Game

I am forever proud of and inspired by our incredible servicemen and women. This past weekend saw the annual Army/Navy college football game, and it fills me with state pride that Pennsylvania plays host to the greatest football rivalry in the nation!

It was an honor to stand alongside with Lieutenant General Williams, Superintendent of the United States Military Academy at West Point on Saturday. What an incredible game!
Lighting of the Capitol Christmas Tree

I recently had the pleasure of delivering an update from the lighting of the Capitol Christmas Tree! In this video, my dog Tessa and I share our best wishes to all during the holiday season, especially those men and women in the armed forces who can’t be with their families over Christmas. From the People’s House to your house, merry Christmas to all!
Protect Against the Flu

With more than 2,600 laboratory-confirmed cases of flu statewide, the Department of Health is urging residents who have not already gotten a flu vaccine to do so.

Guidelines recommend everyone 6 months of age and older should get the vaccine each season. It takes about two weeks for the antibodies from the vaccine to develop protection against infection.

Influenza is a contagious disease, caused by the influenza virus. It attacks the nose, throat and lungs and may include the following symptoms: fever, headache, tiredness, dry cough, sore throat, nasal congestion and body aches.

To further prevent the spread of flu, Pennsylvanians are also encouraged to practice healthy habits such as covering your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze, frequently washing your hands during flu season, and remembering to disinfect commonly touched objects such as door knobs, light switches, countertops, cell phones and computers.

If you do become sick with the flu, it is important to stay home and rest. If you are at risk for developing serious complications from the flu, or feel extremely ill, you should see a medical professional immediately.
Environmental Education Grant Application Deadline Approaching

Schools, county conservation districts, nonprofits, businesses and other eligible organizations have until Tuesday, Dec. 31, to apply for the 2020 Environmental Education Grants program.

Projects with a local focus may receive up to $3,000, and regional or statewide initiatives may receive up to $20,000.

Formal and nonformal education projects are eligible. Project examples include tours, hands-on workshops and demonstrations focused on watershed stewardship and community action, renewable energy, energy conservation, vehicle idling, alternative transportation and healthy air quality.

Since its inception, the Environmental Education Grants program has provided more than $12 million in grants to more than 1,890 organizations statewide.

Application instructions and program guidelines are available here.

Applications must be electronically submitted through the eGrants web portal.
Building Our Workforce, Training Opportunities

The Department of Labor and Industry (L&I) is now accepting applications for $6.6 million in PAsmart Apprenticeship grants to help more workers “earn while they learn” and gain the hands-on skills for good jobs in high-growth industries.

Building on the House GoodJobs4PA initiative launched earlier this year, the grant program is designed to build a diverse talent pipeline into the building and construction trades; expand registered apprenticeships and pre-apprenticeships in non-traditional industries with an emphasis on health care, manufacturing and information technology; and support registered apprenticeships and pre-apprenticeships through ambassador networks across the Commonwealth.

Eligible applicants include organizations that serve as sponsors or intermediaries of registered apprenticeships including businesses, community-based organizations, economic development organizations, industry associations, labor organizations, local education agencies, local workforce development boards, nonprofit organizations, post-secondary institutions, public libraries and STEM ecosystems.

The deadline to apply is Jan. 10, 2020. Grant materials, requirements and information about the bidder’s webinars are available on the department’s website here.
Calls for Oversight of State Tax Credit Program Grow

Pennsylvania’s top law enforcement official and a state lawmaker are calling for more oversight of the state’s Keystone Innovation Zone (KIZ) and Pennsylvania Research and Development (R&D) tax credit programs following a state grand jury report finding they are susceptible to fraud. An 18-month probe by the 42nd Statewide Investigating Grand Jury found that between 2012 and 2017 a husband and wife team, “Christopher” Wing-Tat Chiu and Ivy Li, created 20 fake companies and used them to apply for the aforementioned tax credits 89 times. Over this period, they submitted 62 R&D applications and 27 KIZ applications full of false information and were awarded $10.6 million worth of credits.

“Tax credits have failed to help Pennsylvania’s economy,” said Rep. Seth Grove (R-York). “Let me be blunt: these are special interest giveaways and nothing else. Pennsylvania needs to stop using corporate welfare as its economic policy because it simply fails. We need broad-based tax restructuring to lower the tax burden on Pennsylvanians and drive real economic gains. Government is not here to financially prop up businesses or ventures. Government is here to work for the people and to be wise shepherds of their tax money.”

Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro has called for stronger oversight of the tax credit programs.

As a result of this investigation, the departments of Revenue and Community and Economic Development have begun to implement changes into how they review tax credit applications. In addition, the grand jury issued a report recommending the following changes:
  •   Independent audits should be required for KIZ and R&D tax credits.
  •   Applicants should be interviewed face-to-face and be required to submit photographic identification, receipts, account statements, and financial records. IP addresses should be verified to ensure applications are being submitted from businesses operating in Pennsylvania.
  •   Extend the amount of time regulators have to review applications.
  •   KIZ coordinators should be required to conduct unscheduled site visits for each applicant and declare, subject to penalty of perjury, they have verified a company’s existence. Unscheduled site visits should also be required for R&D tax credits to be awarded.
  •   Require tax credit brokers to be licensed by Pennsylvania authorities.
  •   Require tax credit awardees to submit annual proof of how tax credits were used, or, if they were sold, how the funds were used.

The departments of Community and Economic Development and Revenue expressed their support of these recommendations.
Strengthening Criminal Tax Enforcement

Gov. Tom Wolf signed into law legislation last month that establishes a 10-year collection window for assessed personal income taxes. House Bill 17, now Act 90 of 2019, also strengthens criminal tax enforcement, creates a financial institution data match program, and provides a sales and use tax exemption for certain off-the-shelf software.

Beginning Jan. 1, 2021, the time period for the collection of taxes owed to Pennsylvania is 10 years from the date of the settlement, determination, or assessment of the tax, except in cases of fraud or willfully failing to file a return. The statute of repose applies to all commonwealth taxes except the inheritance tax.
Keep Up with Me on Social Media!


You can stay up to date on my latest news and activities by visiting my House website, RepGaydos.com, or my official Facebook , Instagram, and Twitter pages. You can watch my House floor speeches and press interviews at my YouTube channel here.
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Office Locations
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