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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.
It was a busy week in Harrisburg as the House was back in session. On Wednesday, we held a vote to attempt to overturn Gov. Tom Wolf’s veto of House Resolution 836. This resolution would terminate the governor’s COVID-19 Disaster Emergency if the need arises. Unfortunately, the vote failed, and Wolf’s veto was upheld.

I issued a press release articulating my thoughts about the vote. “Wednesday marked six months since the governor announced a declaration of disaster for Pennsylvania. On Tuesday, Wolf extended the emergency declaration to 90 days. While we know we must continue to protect our people, we need to base our decisions on data and science, not on whim. The passage of legislation to require the governor to be subject to Right to Know laws revealed that the governor cut a secret, special deal with the Carlisle Car Show to allow 20,000 attendees each day for four days to go through the turnstiles, but will not allow us to watch our kids play a hockey game even if they wear masks. It is high time that this emergency declaration be lifted from the governor.”

Be assured that I will continue to work with my colleagues to get our people back to work safely and ensure economic stability for Pennsylvania.

Valerie Gaydos
Gaydos Supports Ensuring the Security of PA Elections

Recognizing that elections are the foundation of our democracy, Rep. Gaydos joined a majority of lawmakers in the state House this week in approving several updates to our laws to ensure their integrity.

Based on a report assessing issues that arose during the June primary election, House Bill 2626 seeks to ensure timely results by adjusting the timelines for applying for and returning absentee and mail-in ballots, and allowing county boards of elections to begin verifying and processing (also known as pre-canvassing) the absentee and mail-in ballots as early as the Saturday before the election. To ensure integrity, pre-canvassing and canvassing meetings would be recorded and made available to the public, and a chain of custody would be required for ballots being canvassed at a site other than the county board of election’s offices.

To improve election security, the bill would clarify that absentee and mail-in ballots may be returned in only one of four ways: by mail; in person to the county board of election’s main office; in person to a location in the courthouse designated by the county board of election; or in person to the voter’s polling place on election day. The measure also would require establishing a procedure to notify a voter whose signature on an absentee or mail-in ballot does not match the signature on file with the person’s voter registration; require establishing a bar code system to track absentee and mail-in ballots issued and to verify that the ballot has not been previously returned; and double all criminal penalties for any violation of the Election Code.

The bill now goes to the Senate for consideration.
Gaydos Co-Sponsors Bills Aimed at Best Educational Opportunities for Our Children

The state House approved two bills this week aimed at helping our students get the educational experience they deserve in spite of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. 

House Bill 2787 ensures local school officials have the authority to determine if they will offer school sports and other extracurricular activities and if or under what conditions they will allow spectators at these events. The bill recognizes that sports and other activities provide students with critical life skills, lessons in teamwork and perseverance, and life-changing mentorships.

Although the governor, in response to our efforts, lifted the prohibition on spectators at school events Wednesday afternoon, his 25-person indoor limit and 250-person outdoor limit still apply. While it was step in the right direction, getting this bill signed into law would grant full authority to school officials.

House Bill 2788 would give parents the choice to have their child repeat a year due to COVID-19 school shutdowns and hybrid learning if they feel their child lost out on educational opportunities. Currently, parents can make such a request but the final decision comes from the school district.

The bills now go to the Senate for its consideration.
Unemployment Compensation Update

Pennsylvania has been awarded nearly $1.5 billion to provide an extra $300 per week to eligible unemployed workers through the temporary federal Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) program, administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

To qualify for the extra $300, the program requires that eligible individuals must receive at least $100 per week in benefits from:

  •   Regular Unemployment Compensation (UC);
  •   Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC);
  •   Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA);
  •   Extended Benefits (EB);
  •   Short-Time Compensation (STC) or Shared Work; and
  •   Trade Readjustment Allowance (TRA).

Individuals must also self-certify that they are unemployed or partially unemployed due to disruptions caused by COVID-19.

Payments will be made to eligible claimants retroactively from Aug. 1. The grant will provide the extra $300 weekly payment until the FEMA funding is exhausted, the federal government enacts a new law, or extends the recently ended Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation program. LWA will run for a minimum of three weeks and will end no later than Dec. 27, 2020.

The LWA program is not a true unemployment insurance program and is funded by $44 billion from FEMA that is intended for storm disaster relief. For this reason, payments to eligible workers will be delayed as states, including Pennsylvania, create new systems or processes.

The Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation program, funded entirely by the federal government, ended on July 25. Although the U.S. House of Representatives voted to continue the benefit, Senate Republicans have yet to approve its extension. On Aug. 8, President Trump authorized the Lost Wages Assistance plan.
Rep. Gaydos and Moon Township to Host ID Theft/Shredding Event Sept. 12


Rep Gaydos’ upcoming Identification Theft/Shredding Event with Moon Township on Saturday, Sept. 12, from 9-11 a.m. at McCormick Elementary School is a great opportunity to have documents containing personal information shredded by a commercial shredding machine for ultimate safety. With the risk of identity theft still very prevalent, Gaydos encourage area residents to take advantage of this service. Come out, the representative would like to meet you!
Gaydos Continues to Fight for Compassionate Caregiving

Rep. Gaydos has been working hard to address the need for Compassionate Caregiving – which provides an additional avenue for nursing home visitation, testing and to make several other updates.

This week, some action was taken. For more information click here. The guidance is only for skilled nursing facilities, however, the Pennsylvania Department of Health is working on guidance that is reflective of the uniqueness of their facility.
Be Counted!

The Sept. 30 deadline to complete work on the 2020 Census is quickly approaching. It is important to ensure everyone is counted because the count helps determine how many seats each state gets in the U.S. Congress and how to distribute more than $675 billion in funding to states, counties, municipalities, school districts, and social service programs and organizations.

In other words, being counted in the Census helps improve our communities, roads, bridges, hospitals, schools, fire and police departments, parks, playgrounds and more.

People can be confident that the Census Bureau will not share their information with anyone, including federal, state or local authorities of any kind, including law enforcement, immigration or landlords. There are no exceptions to this law, which is enforceable with five years in jail and a fine of $250,000.

If you haven’t already been counted, be sure to visit www.census.gov or call 844-330-2020 today!
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Additional Resources

Rep. Gaydos wants you to be informed. She invites you to “Like” her Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/RepGaydos/. Also, visit her website at www.RepGaydos.com to get the latest and most up-to-date information from Harrisburg and the 44th District.                                    
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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