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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.
Last week, the House was called back into session in an attempt to override Gov. Tom Wolf’s veto of House Bill 2787, legislation that would allow Pennsylvania’s local school districts to make decisions regarding fall sports and activities.

The veto was upheld when 24 Democrat members switched their vote to allow the governor to solely decide if your kids can play sports or extracurricular activities, and if you can watch them participate. There is no science and data on that decision, the Governor even admitted that and as such the false narrative that says decisions are being based on science must stop. Honesty, transparency and consistency must prevail.

The vote to override the governor on House Bill 2787 was 130-71. Original yes votes were 155. Those who switched their votes for political gain should be ashamed of themselves. See who flipped their votes below.

For many of these students, this will be the last season they play competitively – their last time putting on a uniform. In my opinion, many Democrats cannot make up their minds. One minute they vote yes, the next minute they vote no. Our elected leaders need to be decisive.

House Republicans will continue to put forward a legislative agenda that stands up for children, families and small businesses.

Valerie Gaydos
Gaydos Demands Answers, Receives Nothing

Rep. Gaydos filed a Right-to-Know request with the Department of Health on Aug. 18 asking for information about the COVID Alert PA contact tracing app. She has yet to get any answers. Right-to-Know law requires some type of response within 30 days.

On Tuesday, the Wolf administration unveiled the app to the public and encouraged residents to use it to fight the spread of COVID-19.

Gaydos is troubled that the governor’s administration contracted with an overseas company for the app when we have a number have a number of United States technology companies capable of this work.

Gaydos’ Right-to-Know request asked for the request for proposal (RFP) the administration used when selecting the contact tracing app vendor along with any copies of correspondence, notes, emails, presentations and reference material related to the app and the software developer Nearform Limited, an Ireland-based company.

During a call with the Department of Health, the administration said it spoke to 24 vendors about the app. The department should disclose who these vendors were. In addition, an RFP was not issued. The governor and Department of Health claim one was not needed due to the emergency disaster declaration.

Gaydos has been in contact with House Republican Leadership to request an immediate hearing on this topic.
Gaydos Apologizes for Shredding Event Difficulties

On Saturday Sept. 12, Rep. Gaydos held her popular shredding event. Unfortunately, it had to be cut short and she regrets that some of her constituents who attended and waited in line were unable to make it to the truck prior to having to shut it down. Due to COVID-19, there was an unexpected volume of material that not only slowed down the process of getting the material into the shredder, but also filled the truck sooner than expected. In addition, the representative wanted to ensure your safety which had been compromised because of traffic congestion. Gaydos thanks you for your patience. and apologize for the inconvenience. As a reminder, Gaydos says her office can only allow participants who are residents of the 44th district.

Rep. Gaydos understands this is a very popular and worthwhile event. When a new date is scheduled, it will be announced in her weekly e-newsletter. To sign up, please visit her website at www.RepGaydos.com.
Ohio Township Playground Ready for Action


It was Rep. Gaydos’ pleasure to be part of the Ohio Township Playground opening. In 2019, Gaydos secured a $24,000 grant through the Gaming Economic Development Fund (GEDF) for an improvement project to the playground.The GEDF is administered by the Redevelopment Authority of Allegheny County (RAAC). It is intended to provide financial assistance to entities to facilitate economic development projects in Allegheny County.

The grant was for additional play features to the playground area with the goal of making play accessible to all children, regardless of ability.

Gaydos thanks Ohio Township Supervisors Herb Hartle, Tom Beatty, and Jim Reid for their hard work on this important project.
Gaydos Votes YES for Legislation Aiding Restaurants

The House and Senate this week approved legislation moving restaurants and bars out from under the thumb of the governor and his unilateral decision making that has put the restaurant industry in peril.

House Bill 2513, which now heads to the governor’s desk, would allow restaurants to operate at 50% capacity with the ability to operate above that if the guidelines issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Commonwealth allow, or if they maintain physical barriers between customers. Bar service would also be allowed once again under the legislation. Establishments affected by the legislation include restaurants, bars, hotels or private clubs that serve food and beverages, brewpubs, breweries, wineries or distilleries, and event venues. Excluded are night clubs, music and entertainment venues.

While the governor has recently allowed restaurants to once again reach 50% capacity, at any moment he could change his mind. Pennsylvania business owners and the people they employ need greater assurance they can continue to operate.

The restaurant industry has been hit hard during the pandemic. According to the Philadelphia Business Journal, 70% of restaurants and bars may not survive the pandemic.
Stay of State Supreme Court Election Decision Sought

On Tuesday, the Pennsylvania House Republican Caucus joined with the Pennsylvania Senate Republican Caucus in an Application for Stay of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s election decision in PA Democratic Party v. Boockvar.

Last week, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court issued a decision allowing for mail-in ballots to be accepted by election boards for up to three days following Election Day. This decision ignores the federal and state constitutions and jeopardizes the security and integrity of our elections.

Ultimately, Pennsylvania could be put in the middle of a disastrous national crisis as the country waits for our state to tally election results for days or weeks following Election Day.
Federal Judge Says Wolf-Levine Orders Unconstitutional, Denies Stay

In case you missed this big story last week, U.S. District Court Judge William Stickman IV of the Western District of Pennsylvania ruled last week that the Wolf administration’s COVID-19 mitigation measures regarding mass gatherings, stay-at-home orders and business shutdowns – while intended to protect public safety – are unconstitutional.

In his 66-page ruling, Stickman asserted that, even in an emergency, the Wolf administration’s response to the pandemic cannot undermine our constitutional liberties or the system of checks and balances protecting those liberties. He said the Constitution sets certain lines that simply may not be crossed, and the governor’s actions crossed the line.

Please understand that we all want to keep Pennsylvanians safe but in order to do so the laws must be applied consistently. And, during emergencies is when consistency is needed most to ensure that all of our citizens are treated fairly and consistently.

Wolf is appealing the judge’s ruling and requested a stay of Stickman’s order pending his appeal. On Tuesday, the court denied Wolf’s request for a stay.
Gaydos Has Answers to Mail-In Ballot Questions


Rep. Gaydos’ office has received numerous calls about people who have not received their mail in ballots despite applying for them a while ago.

Gaydos and staff have been advised that this delay is because the Commonwealth has been unable to certify the ballot for printing and mailing because the court case with the Democrats seeking to remove from the ballot the Green Party candidate for president was not decided until last Thursday.

Gaydos has been told that the ballots are being printed this week and will be going out in the mail by the end of the week. A public announcement with greater detail is expected.

The representative reminds her constituents if you have a question or concern about this topic or any state government related issue to call her office at 412-262-3780.
Pay Freeze Bill Headed to Governor’s Desk

During these challenging economic times, members of the General Assembly unanimously voted to freeze Cost of Living Adjustments (COLAs) for state government officials through 2021. House Bill 2487 received unanimous approval in both the House and the Senate and is now on its way to the governor’s desk to be signed into law.

The pay freeze would apply to members of the Pennsylvania General Assembly, the governor, lieutenant governor, treasurer, attorney general, auditor general, the heads of departments, members of boards and commissions, and the judiciary.

Earlier this year, the House Republican Caucus also placed a freeze on hiring and froze the salaries of its employees for at least one year.
New Wave of PUA Fraud

The Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry (L&I) announced that due to an alarming spike in suspicious applications for unemployment benefits through the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program, additional anti-fraud and identity verification measures will be put in place.

Because of that, payments for new applicants are being temporarily delayed with the department providing more information as the enhancement continues.

There is no effect on people who have already opened a PUA claim.

Within the first few weeks of the PUA program, scammers began filing claims under stolen identities using personal information stolen through data breaches that occurred outside of state government. Pennsylvania implemented security measures to help identify and prevent payout for fraudulent claims and subsequently had a reduction in the overall number of claims filed for the PUA program.

However, late last week, L&I staff noticed a spike in new claims from the average of about 5,000 daily to reaching more than 20,000 on Friday, with many of these new claims being filed from outside of the state. As soon as this surge was detected, L&I notified its law enforcement partners and began to develop stronger identity verification methods.

Applications for the PUA program are continuing to be accepted, but new payouts are being postponed until the new identity verification methods are implemented. PUA claimants who applied prior to this issue are unaffected, as are claimants of other unemployment compensation programs run by L&I.

Pennsylvanians who believe their identity was stolen and used to fraudulently apply for unemployment benefits can report the theft. Pennsylvanians who have received unemployment benefits they did not apply for should not use the funds and instead follow the directions on returning them.
Gaydos Concerned, Effect COVID-19 has on Childcare Providers, Staff

Rep. Gaydos was pleased to participate this week in the Early Childhood Education Caucus. The caucus members were briefed on the effect that the COVID-19 pandemic has on childcare providers and staff.

The Department of Human Services has partnered with Penn State Harrisburg’s Institute of State and Regional Affairs to study the impacts of COVID-19 on childcare providers across Pennsylvania.

The findings from this study will be used to inform the distribution of the $116 million allocated for childcare services per Act 24 of 2020. Thank you Rep. Longetti and Sen Browne. And PSU!

The study can be found here.
Health Department Lifts County Order, State Limitations in Effect Countywide

Last week, Pennsylvania Department of Health Department Director Dr. Debra Bogen announced that the department’s orders to stem the spread of coronavirus cases in the county have been lifted, effective immediately.

The state orders related to mask-wearing, mandatory telework, worker safety, building safety and hospital safety all remain in place. In addition, business occupancy restrictions applicable to personal care service, indoor recreation and health and wellness facilities, entertainment venues, and bars and restaurants are also in effect.

For more information, click here.
Celebrate Fall in PA!

With leaves already starting to turn in some areas of the state, the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) is offering regional advisories on fall foliage to provide tips and resources to help residents and visitors experience a colorful autumn in a variety of ways across the Commonwealth.

Fall foliage typically peaks for several weeks beginning in October across Pennsylvania. Weekly fall foliage reports are now available online on the DCNR website and will be updated every Thursday. Visitors can get suggestions about the best spots to view fall foliage on the Penn’s Woods Fall Foliage story map and on the Pennsylvania Tourism Office website.

For more information, click here.
PA Fish and Boat Commission Online Poll

The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) has announced there is an online poll to select the design for the 2021 collectible fishing license button!

This year, voters can choose between four different designs, each representing a different aspect of the Pennsylvania fishing lifestyle. The design with the most votes will be selected as the winner and become available for order when 2021 Pennsylvania fishing licenses go on sale beginning on Tuesday, Dec. 1. The poll will close on Wednesday, Sept. 30 at noon.


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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