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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.
Thank you to many of you who have taken the time to contact me regarding voting, elections and the proposed resolutions on Pennsylvania’s election issues. I can assure you that the Legislature is not idle. I remain committed to hearing all concerns that have been presented to me and to ensuring that the integrity of our elections is maintained through a fair and open process and clear and concerted path that includes election audits, clear communication, education, investigation, litigation and correction as needed. We are a nation based on Rule of Law and regardless of how one voted in the last election, it is the insistence on Rule of Law in all circumstances that will enable us to move forward as a nation in a long lasting way.

Election Audits to Ensure Transparency and Accountability
Please know that it is of the utmost importance to me to ensure fairness and transparency in the election and voting processes, regardless of the outcome. To this end, I voted in favor of House Resolution 1100 to conduct an audit of the 2020 General Election. While this audit was struck down by a partisan vote of the Joint Legislative Budget and Finance Committee, I also supported the House State Government Committee investigation which recently published a preliminary report addressing some of the concerns which were brought to our attention by many of our constituents and which will guide us going forward. Click here to read the report. 

Clear Communication to Ensure Honesty and Integrity
Regarding the newly proposed resolution from my fellow legislators: while I agree with many of its points, I want to make sure that no empty promises are made to Pennsylvanians. Contrary to some beliefs, House Resolution 1094 that was proposed cannot vacate the electors. It simply affirms the authority of the legislative branch to create election law in the manner, process and timeframe allowed by the PA Constitution. As a non-binding resolution it cannot overturn the will of voters. It simply highlights and memorializes examples of executive and judicial branch decisions that occurred this year which are believed to have clouded and confused the application of the Election Code to the point of creating voting and ballot counting inequities across the state. It acknowledges allegations about the election deserving further consideration and review, some of which are still being litigated. It affirms a desire to make sure every legal vote was accurately tabulated. Many of these assertions were already stated in the resolution to conduct the audit.

The fact remains that regardless of the content of the resolution it would have been impossible to pass given that Monday, Nov. 30, was the last day of the 2019-20 legislative session. Per the House Rules, a joint resolution requires a total of five days to pass through both legislative chambers, so the resolution never even had a chance of moving through that process.

Education, Investigation and Understanding the Process to Address Contested Elections
Please note that the Pennsylvania Constitution outlines in Article 7 Section 13 how contested elections are to be handled in Pennsylvania and no legislative body can or should violate the Rule of Law and interfere in. The Pennsylvania House of Representatives also has a case pending before the United States Supreme Court The election process for President and Vice President follows a very specific timeline of events. Please familiarize yourself with the process. I do not want you to get misled by a number of dissenting opinions that have been erroneously circulating. 

Many of my colleagues and I plan to continue our work to safeguard the election process and we continue to collect and encourage investigation into every single allegation of voter fraud. I will be supporting the House State Government Committee’s intentions to conduct its own investigation in the new year, particularly into the process surrounding mail-in ballots.

Timeliness and Dedication to Address Voter Concerns
There is no doubt that there are numerous unanswered questions regarding the election that require a sitting General Assembly to examine and fulfill our duty to conduct oversight. However, after Nov. 30, the members of the General Assembly cannot cast a ballot. The month of December serves as a transitionary period, when outgoing members are replaced by those newly elected ones who are not yet sworn into office. We are constitutionally prohibited from “creating” additional session days to vote after the conclusion of session. Therefore, to ensure that all voter concerns are addressed in a timely manner, I fully support the call to convene the General Assembly into a “special session” for the purpose of enabling the General Assembly to swear in its members, organize and address voter concerns in a timely manner.

Please be assured that I will always support voting practices and election policies that uphold the sanctity of our laws and the integrity of our representative democracy. I know it doesn’t seem to work fast enough at times, but the fact that it was designed to be a measured and deliberative process is what makes our Democracy so strong and lasting despite the way it may sometimes feel to so many.


Valerie Gaydos

The above graphics report on the 2020 election cycle. It offers details on the background, Pennsylvania election laws, recent changes, Department of State directives and related litigation, all of which impacted the 2020 election. It is my hope that it serves as a tool to review this election, so we are better prepared to further address elections head on during the next legislative session.
Veto Threatens Small Businesses, Schools, Service Providers

A bill that would have helped the state’s small business owners, schools, service providers and others struggling to stay afloat in the midst of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has been vetoed by Gov. Tom Wolf.

House Bill 1737 would have provided liability protections to those businesses and organizations that follow guidance from the state and the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to protect against the spread of coronavirus. It also would have ensured bad actors who fail to follow the guidance are held accountable for their actions.

In addition to COVID-19 liability protections, the measure would have helped pave the way for the state’s struggling farmers who want to expand their businesses to include agritourism by providing them with limited liability protections as well.

This measure would have provided reasonable and much-needed protection to the hard-working men and women who provide valuable services to our citizens. Despite the governor’s claims, it would not have prevented any business or organization from being held liable in cases of gross negligence, recklessness, willful misconduct or intentional infliction of harm.
Wolf Vetoes Oil and Gas Legislation

Gov. Tom Wolf has vetoed bipartisan legislation that would have helped ensure the future of Pennsylvania’s 160-year-old conventional oil and gas industry and the jobs it supports.

Senate Bill 790 would have enacted the Conventional Oil and Gas Wells Act to govern the conventional, shallow-well oil and gas industry with reasonable, responsible and relevant regulations. At the same time, it would have put a stop to the state Department of Environmental Protection’s (DEP) efforts to subject the industry to regulations created to address far more impactful unconventional natural gas drilling activities.

There are major differences between unconventional deep-well drilling and conventional, shallow-well drilling - differences that this administration continues to ignore because it doesn’t fit their narrative. The industry is struggling immensely, and a significant cause of that struggle is the lack of understanding and purposeful misrepresentation of how our conventional oil and gas operations work in a safe and environmentally conscious manner.

Nearly all of Pennsylvania’s conventional oil and gas wells are owned and operated by sole proprietors or small businesses. These men and women live, work and raise their children in the same communities where they are drilling for oil and gas. They are capable of and committed to producing this valuable energy source while also ensuring clean air and water for themselves and future generations.

With the legislative session now over, the bill will have to be reintroduced when the new session begins in January.
New Law to Help Fund Broadband Expansion

Recognizing that broadband access is not a luxury but a necessity, the General Assembly has passed a new law that will help expand the service in the state’s most rural communities.

Act 132 of 2020 creates the Unserved High-Speed Broadband Funding Program to provide grants in support of broadband expansion in areas most in need of these services. Initial funding comes from a repeal of the $5 million Mobile Telecommunications Broadband Investment Tax Credit, though the law calls for supplementing the $5 million with additional state or federal funds.

The grant program will be administered by the Commonwealth Financing Authority. Preference will be given to projects in the most unserved areas of the Commonwealth as defined by the Federal Communications Commission’s minimum speed requirements and to projects that already have federal funding allocated to them.

This is the second major pro-broadband measure to become law this year. Act 98 of 2020 will help clear the way for rural electric cooperatives, cable companies or any entity that wants to run broadband cable to provide the service using the existing infrastructure and easements held by rural electric cooperatives. The law effectively cuts through some of the red tape that was slowing down the pace and driving up the cost of broadband expansion.
Prescription Pricing Transparency Bill Now Law

Legislation to bring more transparency to the pricing practices of pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) has been signed into law. 

Act 120 of 2020 gives the Department of Human Services the authority to request payment information from PBMs and require certain disclosures upon request. It also calls on the Legislative Budget and Finance Committee to conduct a study analyzing prescription drug pricing in the Medical Assistance program.

The legislation was introduced in response to challenges facing local, independent pharmacies that are struggling to continue serving their customers because of severe cuts to pharmacy reimbursement rates by PBMs, especially in Medicaid.
2021 Fishing Licenses, Permits for Sale Now!

During a time when many of us are looking for fun and affordable ways to enjoy the outdoors, the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) is reminding anglers that 2021 fishing licenses are now on sale.

Regular fishing licenses, as well as various permits and gift vouchers, can be purchased online at www.fishandboat.com or by visiting one of nearly 700 retail license issuing agents. Licenses, permits and vouchers purchased now are valid immediately for up to 13 months, from Dec. 1, 2020, through Dec. 31, 2021.

The price of an annual resident fishing license in 2021 is still $22.90. Multi-year options are also available in increments of three years, five years or 10 years. The most popular add-ons, a trout permit and a Lake Erie permit, cost $9.90 each or $15.90 for a combination permit which includes both privileges.

While youth anglers under age 16 do not require a fishing license, they must have either a Voluntary Youth Fishing License ($2.90) or a free Mentored Youth Fishing Permit to participate in various youth opportunities throughout the 2021 season. This includes the Mentored Youth Trout Fishing Days, which occur on the Saturdays before the openings of the regional and statewide seasons. Voluntary Youth Fishing Licenses purchased in advance of the 2020 Mentored Youth Trout Fishing Days that were canceled due to COVID-19 will be honored in 2021.

Click here for additional information.
Protect Against Scams this Holiday Season

The Office of Attorney General is reminding us to protect against common online scams that may increase in frequency this holiday season.

These scams include email and text phishing, in which you are directed to enter personal information on a fraudulent website; deliveries being stolen from your front porch; credit card skimming, particularly at ATMs, gas pumps or other payment kiosks; online pop-up advertisements claiming you’ve won a prize and encouraging you to click a link, which likely contains a virus or will make your device susceptible to being hacked; and online marketplace deals promising access to the latest popular toys and games that are difficult to find.

To protect yourself from scams, consumers should:
  •   Set up email or text alerts with your credit card company or bank, so you’ll be alerted quickly to all purchases, including fraudulent purchases.
  •   Install the latest security updates and run virus scans regularly on your computer or mobile device.
  •   Never use your home’s smart device, such as Alexa, Siri or Google Home, to find a customer support number for any company, and never have the system dial it for you. Go directly to the company’s website or call the number on the back of your credit or debit card, or the number on your billing statement.
  •   Never pay with a prepaid gift card, CashApp, or Venmo or wire someone money when you’re trying to buy a gift online. Use your credit card, not a debit card, for better protection.

Anyone who believes they may have been scammed should file a police report and file a complaint with the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General by clicking here. 
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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, House Box 202044, Harrisburg PA 17120-2044 | Phone: (717) 787-6651 |
Email: vgaydos@pahousegop.com