Valley Delegation Unveils GA Plans
Wilt, Hanger Attend Family Forum Event
Posted: December 8, 2012
HARRISONBURG — A pair of central Valley legislators offered a glimpse at their plans for the 2013 General Assembly session Friday night.
Del. Tony Wilt, R-Broadway, and Sen. Emmett Hanger, R-Mount Solon, attended Valley Family Forum’s annual “Unveiling” at Cornerstone Church on Lake Shenandoah, just east of Harrisonburg.
The forum, according to its website, attempts to renew the “spiritual, moral and cultural vision” of the Founding Fathers.
The group invites legislators to unveil their plans, particularly those in support of such areas as the “sanctity of human life and religious freedom,” for the coming lawmaking session each year. However, senators and delegates normally talk about their entire legislative agendas.
The 2013 session convenes Jan. 9.
Wilt said bills that he will pursue include prohibiting people who receive temporary government assistance from buying certain items, such as alcohol, lottery tickets, tattoos and piercings. The first offense would lead to a month’s suspension of benefits, he said, and a third violation would be a permanent loss.
Enforcing the law will be difficult, Wilt concedes, but a provision in the bill directs the Department of Social Services to develop a mechanism for imposing the regulation by July 2014.
Wilt also is involved with interviewing judges for an opening in the 26th Judicial Circuit.
“I want to know where [candidates] stand with the Constitution,” Wilt said.
Hanger, a member of the Senate Finance Committee, told the 25 people in attendance not to be too afraid of the so-called federal “fiscal cliff.” Congress and the White House must agree before the end of December on how to prevent $109 billion in automatic cuts, which he says is only a tenth of the nation’s deficit.
“It’s not that big of a deal, if you look at the numbers,” Hanger said.
Virginia, though, will have uncertainty in its state budget, he said.
One measure Hanger plans to introduce would create a commission to study the service responsibilities of state and local governments, as well as each one’s taxing authority.
On other issues, Hanger said he is a proponent of any legislation that keeps Sunday a “day of rest.” That includes the longtime ban on Sunday hunting.
“From what my momma told me when I was growing up,” Hanger said, “that’s just something you don’t do on Sundays.”
Jared Walczak, the legislative director for Sen. Mark Obenshain, R-Harrisonburg, also spoke.
Obenshain, who did not attend the event, plans to push for fewer restrictions on charter schools, such as where they can operate, Walczak said.
Sixth District Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Roanoke, had a representative at the event as well, and Dels. Richard “Dickie” Bell, R-Staunton, and Bob Marshall, R-Prince William, also attended.
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