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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.
I was fortunate to have a N95 mask leftover
from a home construction  project and
added a HEPA filter on the inside so my
exhaust was also protected. 
With nearly 1.5 million Pennsylvanians unemployed as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the House returned to session this week, voting for legislation that would demand transparency and consistency in how the governor determines which businesses can continue to operate.

It’s no secret that the governor’s process for determining which businesses could continue operating and which businesses must close was less than transparent. The Wolf administration’s waiver system was confusing, and it effectively picked winners and losers.

The citizens of Pennsylvania simply want fairness. They want consistency. And, they want a government that keeps its promises. This pandemic isn’t going to abruptly disappear. So, we must work to find solutions now. We must find a balanced path to recovery.

To everyone doing their part to prevent the spread of COVID-19, I thank you. To everyone waiting patiently for unemployment compensation, know that I am fighting for you at every turn. Help is on the way. Truly, these are unprecedented times, but we will get through this, and we will do it together.

Valerie Gaydos

In this edition:
  •   This Week’s Session Update
  •   Being a Resource to Our Community 
  •   Unemployment Compensation Information
  •   COVID-19 Employment Opportunities 
  •   IRS Launches New CARES Act Tools
  •   DHS Announces CHIP Extensions 
  •   State Offers Guidance for Real Estate Transactions 
  •   Department of Revenue Waives Sales Tax Prepayments 
  •   Resources for Seniors 
This Week’s Session Update

The House took critical action this week to provide for the health of our workers, protect our first responders and put Pennsylvania on the road to recovery.

Senate Bill 613
This legislation does not open up all businesses in Pennsylvania. It simply brings our state in line with federal guidelines (and neighboring states) for essential businesses. Industries like construction, auto sales and real estate, among others, would be able to operate, albeit in a limited fashion, while following CDC guidance and social distancing.

There is no question that we must slow the spread of COVID-19 and protect our communities but we must also ensure that workers can provide for their families and have a roof over their heads.

 During this week’s legislative session, I spoke in support of
Senate Bill 613. Listen to my remarks here.

House Bill 1189
We also adopted a bill to help our first responders. House Bill 1189 would establish the Volunteer Emergency Responders Employer Tax Credit program for employers who allow an employee who serves with a volunteer emergency service organization to respond to an emergency call during work hours. The bill also would extend disability benefits for first responders to be covered in the event they contract COVID-19 in the line of duty.

To help better track cases of COVID-19, the bill would require health care facilities to provide specific demographic data about positive tests within three days of a diagnosis. The state Department of Health would then be required to publish publicly accessible reports with case statistics broken down by ZIP code.

Finally, the bill would extend the expiration of driver’s licenses, vehicle registrations and parking placards for people with disabilities that are set to expire during the disaster declaration to 60 days after the declaration has ended.

Senate Bill 841
Also this week, the House supported legislation – Senate Bill 841 – that would allow local governments to extend property tax discount periods and/or waive penalties or late fees, protect educational opportunities for low-income students by allowing educational tax credit contributions to be delayed until the end of the business tax year, save school districts money by allowing various contracts to be renegotiated for the period of the school closure, allow for remote notary services and authorize local governments to meet through authorized telecommunications devices for the duration of the COVID-19 emergency declaration. 
Being a Resource to Our Community

The financial pressures brought about by our state’s extended business closure has left countless members of our community feeling abandoned and voiceless.

When I hear about the heart-wrenching stories of my constituents who are not receiving their unemployment checks or who aren’t even getting through to the unemployment office, I feel it’s my responsibility to reach out and let them know I care and I’m doing everything I can to fight for them in Harrisburg.

This week, I gave an interview to WTAE’s Sheldon Ingram, during which I emphasized how crucial it is for public officials like myself to remain accessible during these uncertain times. Please know that you can always reach out to my office for assistance by calling 412-262-3780 or going online to www.RepGaydos.com. My staff and I are dedicated to helping see everyone through this difficult time, and we stand ready to assist local residents any way we can.

You can watch the full interview below.  

Click here to view video. 
Unemployment Compensation Information

The state has started to implement portions of the federal CARES Act changes to the unemployment compensation system.

The good news is, claimants started to receive the extra $600 per week in compensation required under the law this week. The bad news is the state Department of Labor and Industry is saying it could be at least another week before the application for self-employed workers and independent contractors to apply for assistance is available. Please know that I share your deep frustrations over this delay and have repeatedly voiced those concerns to the administration.

If you are looking for more information about the CARES Act and its impact on unemployment compensation, click here.

This page has general information on the new benefits available under the act as well as Pandemic Unemployment Assistance frequently asked questions and federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation frequently asked questions.

If you are unable to find answers to your questions about unemployment online, you are encouraged to contact the department by email at uchelp@pa.gov to avoid a long wait on the phone. Keep a copy of the email as a record of your contact.
COVID-19 Employment Opportunities

Have you lost employment due to COVID-19? The PA Department of Labor & Industry in cooperation with PA CareerLink, has launched an online job portal for those seeking employment during these difficult times. 

IRS Launches New CARES Act Tools

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is offering two new tools to help people ensure they receive their economic impact payments authorized under the federal CARES Act.

One tool is for people who don’t normally file a tax return (please note it is not necessary for people who receive Social Security retirement, disability or survivor benefits, or Railroad Retirement and survivor benefits to complete this form, unless you have qualifying children to claim). The tool for non-filers is available here.  

The second tool is for people who file but need to update direct deposit or mailing address information, or to check your payment status and confirm payment type. That form is available here. Learn more about economic impact payments here. 
DHS Announces CHIP Extensions

The Department of Human Services (DHS) is making temporary changes to Pennsylvania’s Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) to keep families enrolled in CHIP for the duration of the public health emergency and to ease access to medical services for children being screened or receiving treatment for COVID-19. Read more here. 
State Offers Guidance for Real Estate Transactions

The Pennsylvania departments of State and Banking and Securities has issued some limited guidance about allowable activities related to residential real estate transactions that were initiated prior to the state’s coronavirus emergency declaration. Read the guidance memo here. 
Department of Revenue Waives Sales Tax Prepayments

Businesses that collect Pennsylvania sales tax will not have to make Accelerated Sales Tax (AST) prepayments over the next three months. That means businesses that normally have a monthly prepayment requirement will not be charged penalties for missing the prepayment deadline during this three-month period. Read more here.
Resources for Seniors

The Pennsylvania Department of Aging has launched an online COVID-19 resource guide for older adults, their families and caregivers. The guide includes information on meals, prescriptions, protective services, scams, and how to stay active and connected.

Click here for more information. 
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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