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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 here.
Officers from the Crescent Township
Police Department doing their part to
prevent the spread of COVID-19 by
wearing personal protective equipment
As the number of COVID-19 cases continue to grow, the entire Commonwealth has now joined Allegheny County in being placed under a “stay-at-home” order by Gov. Tom Wolf. The order will remain in effect through April 30.

Even in the midst of this public health crisis, I have been encouraged by the outpouring of support from local businesses, organizations, and individuals to help their neighbors.

From local distilleries that are producing hand sanitizer and individuals who are donating or manufacturing personal protective equipment (PPE) for our front-line responders, many Pennsylvanians are stepping up to support those who need it most. We thank all of our healthcare workers, fire, police and EMS for their dedication.

Like so many others in our district, I was encouraged to see Crescent Township Police Officers Burek, Songer and Williams (pictured above) doing their part to stop the spread of the coronavirus while keeping our community safe. Thank you to these officers and to all the fearless men and women at the front lines of this emergency.

Do you have an inspiring story to share about "hometown heroes" making a difference in our community's response to COVID-19? If so, please share your story by acknowledging and thanking them on my Facebook page.

As a reminder, essential activities under the order include going to the grocery store or pharmacy, visiting a health care professional or obtaining supplies you need to work from home. Residents may also travel to get necessary services or supplies for their family members, or volunteer to distribute meals or other life-sustaining services to those in need. Outdoor activities, such as walking or hiking, are permitted as long as you practice social distancing. For full guidance from the Governor on the order, click here.

Be well, be safe and check on your neighbors.

Valerie Gaydos

In this edition:
  •   Governor Updates Life-Sustaining Business Lis
  •   Small Business Waiver Deadline TODAY at 5 p.m. 
  •   Help Is on the Way to Our Local Communities
  •   Critical State Services Will Continue 
  •   The CARES Act: What You Need to Know
  •   Teaching Our Kids Despite School Closures 
  •   New Dates in PA 
  •   Do I Qualify for Unemployment? 
  •   Food Bank Program Benefits Veterans, Families 
  •   PennDOT Greenlights Local Construction Projects 
  •   Election Deadline Changes 
Governor Updates Life-Sustaining Business List

Yesterday, the Wolf administration once again updated its list  of business types that may continue physical operations, in relation to the Governor's Executive Order mandating closures for COVID-19 mitigation.

There has been a lot of information coming out about what industries may remain open in the wake of Governor Wolf’s order mandating business closures. While it has indeed been confusing at time, we have been working with the Governor to help indicate more clearly which industries have been changed from “no” to “yes” or vice versa. For the complete list, please visit my Facebook page.
Small Business Waiver Deadline TODAY at 5 p.m.

The Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) is reminding small business owners that the deadline to submit a waiver to continue operating during the COVID-19 emergency is this Friday, April 3 at 5:00 p.m. You can apply online here. 

Despite the governor’s order, we all understand that every business is life-sustaining for somebody. I am personally working on legislation to provide further relief for small businesses and many of my colleagues are working to get businesses back to work–safely, of course. I look forward to sharing an update on this legislation soon.
Help Is on the Way to Our Local Communities

This week, Pennsylvania received a “major disaster” declaration from the federal government, making the Commonwealth eligible for additional funding support for state, county and municipal governments and certain nonprofits. This will open up additional opportunities that will help our communities to recover.
Critical State Services Will Continue

Pennsylvania is reminding residents that, despite actions taken to slow the spread of COVID-19, the state will continue to deliver essential services critical to the lives, health and safety of vulnerable populations.

The Department of Human Services (DHS) has stated that Pennsylvania’s outlets to report abuse, neglect and domestic violence/rape crisis programs are still operational for those who need assistance during COVID-19 mitigation efforts.

Other essential services that will continue include:
  •   Food assistance
  •   Benefits application processing
  •   Long-term care supports for older adults and individuals with disabilities
  •   Home and community-based supports for individuals with intellectual disabilities and autism
  •   Behavioral health services for individuals with mental illness and substance use disorders
  •   Care for individuals at state-operated facilities
  •   Child-welfare services including foster care and adoption
Teaching Our Kids Despite School Closures

The Wolf Administration announced this week schools will remain closed until further notice. To help ensure our children are continuing to learn at this challenging time, the Department of Education (PDE) has partnered with Pennsylvania’s public television stations including WQED Pittsburgh to provide instructional programming to students through the seven individual Public Broadcasting System (PBS) member stations in the state.

Public television reaches over 12.4 million Pennsylvanians. These free “Learning at Home” resources are available to families and educators at https://www.learningathomepa.org. For more information, visit WQED’s website.
The CARES Act: What You Need to Know

Last week, Congress approved and President Trump signed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act into law. While this is a federal law, I wanted to share a few highlights:
Unemployment Compensation Benefits for Self-Employed
Many people who are self-employed or working as private contractors are now eligible for unemployment benefits under the CARES Act. As soon as the program is up and running, I will share information about how to apply. You should not file under the current system, as your claim will be rejected.
Economic Impact Checks
The majority of Americans will receive “economic impact” checks to help during these challenging times. The plan provides up to $1,200 for each adult and $500 for each child under 17. A married couple with two children would get $3,400.
The exact amount will be based on information from your most recent tax filings, either 2019 or 2018 if you have not yet filed this season. If you have an adjusted gross income (AGI) of up to $75,000 ($150,000 married filing jointly), you should be eligible for the full amount of the recovery rebate.
PLEASE NOTE: the U.S. Treasury Department announced late Wednesday that Social Security beneficiaries who typically do not file a tax return will automatically get the $1,200 relief payment. This is a correction of prior guidance offered by the IRS.
Paycheck Protection for Small Businesses
To help small businesses keep their employees and stay open (or reopen), the federal CARES Act creates a “Paycheck Protection” program to provide eight weeks of cash-flow assistance through 100% federally guaranteed loans to small businesses that maintain their payroll.

Self-employed individuals and contractors can apply starting on April 10. Read more here.
Do I Qualify for Unemployment?

If you have any questions about your eligibility for unemployment compensation (UC) due to the spread of COVID-19, this chart from the PA Department of Labor & Industry should be helpful.
New Dates in PA

With mitigation efforts extended until April 30, the state has extended most expiration dates and deadlines. Here are the major Pennsylvania date changes you should know about.

Food Bank Program Benefits Veterans, Families

Especially during these difficult times, it is imperative that we help our neighbors in need.
The Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank's MilitaryShare program is designed to provide nutritious foods for veterans and military families. If you know of veterans or military families in need of food, please inform them of the Military Share food distribution event in Pittsburgh on April 13 from noon until 5 p.m.

PennDOT Greenlights Local Construction Projects

I am very pleased to announce that PennDOT has permitted three projects in the 44th District to resume construction.
Construction will continue at the following sites:
  •   Noblestown Road (State Route 3048 Section A18, Allegheny/North Fayette)
  •   Brodhead Road (State Route 3066 Section A06, Allegheny/North Fayette
  •   Steubenville Pike (State Route 3160 Section A10, Allegheny/Moon)

We have been advised that the project to repair Sewickley Bridge was put on hold with no time frame because of the pandemic. We will let you know as soon as we receive an update.
Election Deadline Changes

As a result of legislation passed last week to postpone the primary election until June 2, you now have until May 18 to register to vote and until May 26 to sign up to vote by mail-in ballot. Click here for more information.
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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