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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 via RepGaydos.com.
Following the governor’s budget address earlier this month, it will be the job of the House Appropriations Committee to determine exactly how much funding will be necessary to operate our state’s various agencies.

As your state representative, I am committed to passing a budget that is responsible to taxpayers. That means saving for the future and investing in education and workforce development while keeping spending under control. I look forward to keeping you updated about the budget process as it continues to unfold.

I would also like to remind you that at the end of this month, there will be a 60-day blackout period in effect that limits what I can send you prior to the April 28 Primary Election.

If you would like to continue receiving my legislative updates throughout the blackout period, I invite you to click here and simply enter your email.

Valerie Gaydos

In this edition:
  •   Hearings to Review 2020-21 PA Budget Proposal Start Tuesday
  •   Election Reforms in Effect for April 28 Primary Election
  •   Local Spotlight: Discussing Maternal Mental Health
  •   PHEAA Offers New Student Loan Refinancing Option
  •   District, PennDOT Offices Closed for Presidents Day
Hearings to Review 2020-21 PA Budget Proposal Start Tuesday

I was disappointed to hear the governor’s costly $36 billion budget proposal – one that would increase state spending more than $2 billion over the current year’s enacted budget – earlier this month. Fortunately, however, members of the House Appropriations Committee will get to work this week investigating the governor’s funding requests and the actual needs of state agencies.

For more information about the 2020-21 state budget proposal, click here. For a hearing schedule, or to watch live streams or archived video of the budget hearings, click here.
Election Reforms in Effect for April 28 Primary Election

This year, it will be easier than ever to get registered and cast your vote. Comprehensive reforms designed to encourage greater participation in our elections will be in place for the upcoming Primary Election on April 28.

Anyone not already registered to vote now has more time to do so. You may register online or in person at your county courthouse up to 15 days prior to an election, which is April 13.

For the first time, voters may choose to cast their ballots by mail for no reason other than convenience. The ballots will work similarly to absentee ballots, but voters need not be out of town or otherwise unavailable to vote in person to qualify for a mail-in ballot.

You may apply for the mail-in or absentee ballots here.

The last day to apply for a mail-in or civilian absentee ballot is 5 p.m. the Tuesday before the election, which is April 21. The completed ballot must be received via mail or dropped off in person at your county elections office, by 8 p.m. on Election Day, April 28.

The last day for county election boards to receive voted military and overseas absentee ballots (submitted for delivery no later than 11:59 p.m. April 27) is a week after the election, May 5.

Also under the new law, voters who have a permanent disability may ask to be placed on a permanent absentee voter list. Voters on this list will have an absentee ballot application mailed to them by the first Monday in February each year. If you complete and return the application, the county will send you ballots in the mail for all the elections that take place that year, as well as for any special election held through the third Monday in February of the next year.

For more information about the upcoming election, click here.
Local Spotlight: Discussing Maternal Mental Health

I was proud to join Pennsylvania Department of Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine and Senator Pam Iovino for a roundtable discussion addressing maternal mental health in the Commonwealth.

As a member of the House Health Committee and of the House Mental Health Caucus, I look forward to working on this important issue.
PHEAA Offers New Student Loan Refinancing Option

Many young adults in Western Pennsylvania and throughout the state presently find themselves strapped with student loan debt and unsure how to move forward.

Fortunately, the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA) recently announced an expansion of its PA Forward Student Loan Program, offering borrowers a more streamlined way to manage their debt by combining all of their federal and private student loans into a single monthly payment.

The PA Forward Student Loan Refinance Program offers competitive fixed interest rates, currently as low as 3.72% APR, which is significantly lower than the average private student loan rate of 8.86% and the average Federal PLUS loan rate of 6.97%.

For more information, visit www.PHEAA.org/refi. For specific questions, call 844-PAFORWD (844-723-6793).
District, PennDOT Offices Closed for Presidents Day

In observance of Presidents Day, all PennDOT driver license and photo centers will be closed Saturday, Feb. 15, through Monday, Feb. 17. Customers may still obtain a variety of driver and vehicle products and services online through PennDOT’s Driver and Vehicle Services website, www.dmv.pa.gov.

Additionally, my offices in Harrisburg and Moon Township will be closed on Monday, Feb. 17.
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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