Facebook Website Bio Latest News Contact
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.
Last week, I invited you to share stories about members of our local community who are making a difference in the fight against the coronavirus.

This week’s hero is Lucca, a resident of Findlay Township who hand-made protective face masks for each member of the Findlay Township Police Department. We thank our first responders for their brave service during these dangerous times, and our appreciation goes out to everyone who helps others, as Lucca did.

In other news, the House returned to session this week (with many of us participating remotely from home) to discuss a series of proposals to help move our Commonwealth toward recovery.

On Tuesday, we adopted a bill that would create the bipartisan COVID-19 Cost and Recovery Task Force. Encompassing all three branches of government, the task force would be charged with identifying immediate and urgent issues, providing a structure to catalog the Commonwealth’s response to the disaster emergency and creating a recovery plan. The recovery plan is aimed the at restoring essential public services and economic activity to levels equal to or better than their pre-disaster conditions.

The bill is now pending consideration in the Senate. We are working on a variety of other ideas to help our state and our citizens recover from this unprecedented challenge.

I invite you to stay tuned for updates on my website and to keep up with me on Facebook for the latest news and resources for those affected by COVID-19.

Valerie Gaydos

In this edition:
  •   Mask Use Urged Outside the Home
  •   911th Airlift Wing Answers the Call to Help NY 
  •   Taking Action to Combat the Crisis
  •   House Majority Leader Cutler on COVID-19 Task Force
  •   Unemployment Update
  •   Libraries Now Offering Virtual Children’s Programs
  •   Relief Programs Available for Small Businesses 
Mask Use Urged Outside the Home

Last Friday afternoon, Gov. Tom Wolf announced he was urging all Pennsylvanians to wear masks when leaving their homes to make necessary trips to places such as the grocery store or pharmacy where social distancing (staying 6 feet apart from other people) is difficult to maintain.

Wolf’s guidance mirrors the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which recently recommended people wear masks after studies have shown the virus can spread between people interacting in close proximity—for example, speaking, coughing or sneezing—even if those people are not exhibiting symptoms.

The public should not use surgical or N95 masks that are needed by health care personnel. Instead the Department of Health has offered instructions on how to make your own mask here.
911th Airlift Wing Answers the Call to Help NY

This week, ten airmen from the 911th Airlift Wing in Moon Township were mobilized to help provide assistance to medical providers, first responders and other local authorities in New York City. I am tremendously proud of our servicemembers and invite you to read more here.
Taking Action to Combat the Crisis

When we returned to legislative session this week, my House colleagues and I set in motion a plan to help our Commonwealth save lives, defeat COVID-19 and still have an economy left when the crisis is over.

The magnitude of this pandemic is unprecedented, and an effective response will require the cooperation of all branches of government and both sides of the aisle.

If the First Lady can be advocating for more people to volunteer their time for free, we can certainly start allowing more people to spend their time working for pay, especially if the nature of the business is such that social distancing is inherent.

Read more about our Pandemic Recovery Plan here.
House Majority Leader Cutler Speaks on COVID-19 Task Force

Click here to view video. 

WATCH: House Majority Leader Rep. Bryan Cutler gives details of why a bipartisan task force with representation from all branches of state government is necessary to help Pennsylvania start to recover from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Unemployment Update

As a result of COVID-19 mitigation efforts, more than 1 million Pennsylvanians have been forced to file for unemployment compensation (UC). Due to this surge, it is taking longer to process claims and get questions answered. The Department of Labor and Industry encourages people to seek answers first at the agency’s website. 

If you can’t find what you need there, it is best to email the agency at uchelp@pa.gov and avoid a long wait on the phone. Keep a copy of the email as a record of your contact.

The federal CARES Act has authorized UC payments for people who are self-employed or working as private contractors. That application process must be handled separately and is, at this time, still unavailable.

I share your frustration with this delay and have asked the governor to at least offer a timeline of when this application will become available but have received no further information. I will share any updates on this as soon as they become available on my Facebook page.

You should also continue to visit this page, as it is updated regularly by the department. 
Libraries Now Offering Virtual Children’s Programs

Because libraries will have to remain closed until the end of April, libraries in Allegheny County are stepping up to provide virtual programming for children, including story time videos, STEM activities and other programs to help parents and caregivers keep children entertained and educated during this difficult time. Check out the full list of programming here. 
Relief Programs Available for Small Businesses
While we remain concerned for the health of our citizens, we are also aware of the devastating impact that business closures have had on business owners and employees. We all want our businesses to be able to reopen their doors as soon as it is possible and safe to do so, and many will need financial assistance. Here are a few resources from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA):

  •   Paycheck Protection Program: Provides loans to small businesses to help them continue to pay employees and cover other business expenses during the COVID-19 crisis. More information is available here. 

  •   Economic Injury Disaster Loans/Emergency Economic Injury Grants: Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) are low-interest loans of up to $2 million to be used toward expenses that could have been met had the disaster not occurred, such as payroll and other operating expenses. More information is available here.  

  •   SBA Express Bridge Loans: Enables small businesses that currently have a business relationship with an SBA Express Lender to access up to $25,000 quickly. The funding may be used as a term loan or to bridge the gap while applying for a direct Economic Injury Disaster Loan. More information is available here.  

  •   SBA Debt Relief: Provides a financial reprieve to small businesses by automatically paying the principal, interest and fees of some current loans and microloans. More information is available here.  

Let's Get Connected

Our District

Web Site

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