It is an honor to represent the citizens of Harrisonburg and Rockingham in the Virginia House of Delegates. I thank you for your support as we work to make Virginia a better place to live, work and raise a family.

As your Delegate, I represent your voice in the General Assembly. I want to know your concerns and ideas pertaining to state issues. Never hesitate to contact me, I am here to serve you!

Wilt Signature 2014

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We want to hear from you! – 2017 Session Contact Information

We are now working from our Richmond office for the duration of the 2017 General Assembly Session. Session is scheduled to end on February 25.  I welcome and encourage you to reach out to my office if you would like to voice your opinion on legislation. If you are experiencing a problem with a state agency you can continue to contact us during session. We will do what we can to assist you.

 

I love visiting with constituents during session, and while I will try to make every effort to meet with you in person, I cannot guarantee this will always be the case. However, if you are able to schedule an appointment ahead of time, usually we can accommodate. If you are visiting Richmond, my office is located in room 526 of the General Assembly Building.

 

While in Richmond, my office can be reached by phone at (804) 698-1026. You can continue to contact me by email at DelTWilt@house.virginia.gov

 

Thank you for allowing me to serve as your representative in Richmond!

2017 Legislative Survey Now Available!

If you have not already done so, please take time to complete my annual legislative survey online. This is one of several ways I gain your feedback on issues the General Assembly may address in the upcoming session.

While we do our best to cover a large sampling of topics, there is simply no way to incorporate every issue into a survey that can be conveniently completed in a few minutes. Therefore, you are welcome to email additional comments or share your thoughts on any issue that may not be covered in the survey. I also recognize that many of the questions are concise and may not offer enough background to get a full understanding of what are often complex issues. Here again, this is to try to keep the survey brief so more folks are willing to complete it. If you feel you need more background information to gain a better understanding of a particular question, please contact my office and we will do our best to provide that for you. You also have the option to leave a question blank.

If you would like a printed copy, please let us know and we will be glad to mail that to you upon request.

Click here to complete the survey!

Constitutional Amendments on Your Ballot

Ballot Question One – Right to Work:

“Should Article I of the Constitution of Virginia be amended to prohibit any agreement or combination between an employer and a labor union or labor organization whereby (i) nonmembers of the union or organization are denied the right to work for the employer, (ii) membership to the union or organization is made a condition of employment or continuation of employment by such employer, or (iii) the union or organization acquires an employment monopoly in any such enterprise?”

This year voters will have an opportunity to place our right to work law in the Virginia Constitution. I fully support this measure.

While Virginia has been a right to work state for decades through statute, ballot question one will add an additional layer of protection to ensure this measure cannot be repealed at the whims of an individual governor or legislature. This law ensures that Virginians are not forced to join a labor union as a condition of employment or when seeking new employment. This guarantees that workers have the freedom to choose where they work based on their talents and abilities, rather than their willingness to join a union and pony up money for dues, even if they may not support the efforts and positions of the union.

Beyond freedom for workers, our right to work status is one of the main factors that makes us attractive to businesses that are growing and relocating. 26 states have right to work laws, with Michigan and Wisconsin becoming two of the most recent additions. The numbers show right to work states are creating more jobs than forced-unionization states. Over the past decade, private sector employment in right to work states grew by 15.9% compared to 9.6% in forced-unionization states. Over this same time period, income growth has been nearly 6% higher in right to work states. The medium unemployment rate in right to work states is 4.6%, compared to 5% in forced-unionization states. Businesses, and especially large manufactures, strongly prefer to operate in right to work states, with one estimation conveying that almost 40% of manufacturers will only operate in right to work states.

Recent efforts by the National Labor Relations Board make the need to affirm our right to work status all the more critical. Federal provisions that went into effect last year significantly shorten the amount of time between when a labor union petitions to unionize a business and when the vote is held to form the union. This gives the union the ability to campaign ahead of the petition filing for support, leaving the employer little time to respond. The employer also has legally mandated responsibilities in this process that significantly increased with the new rule, despite the shorter time table. This simply means the legal costs for the business increased, all while tilting the process in the union’s favor, opening the door for coercion and confusion. This is yet another example of federal bureaucrats in the executive branch overreaching to enact policies that make it more difficult for American businesses to operate.

At a time when our economy and Commonwealth is still struggling to fully recover from the Great Recession, we need to retain every tool in our tool belt to keep the jobs we have and recruit new private industry that will foster new job growth. It would be unwise to entertain removing that tool, and thus taking off the table a large portion of employers that will not hire in a forced-unionization state. While those opposed to this amendment may claim that it is unnecessary because it is already current law, make no mistake, their real motivation is to repeal right to work if ever given the opportunity. This is evident in the fact that in the same breath they claim placing right to work in the constitution is unnecessary, they espouse their position opposing the underlying law. They know that once approved by the voters and included in our state constitution, their efforts will be significantly more difficult.

Passing this amendment will send a clear message to entrepreneurs and job creators that Virginia is open for business. It will make Virginia a stronger state by guaranteeing that no employee can be fired just because he or she refuses to join a labor union. By enshrining it in our constitution, we can permanently protect our right to work status.

I encourage you to vote “Yes” on ballot question one.

Ballot Question Two – Property tax exemptions for spouses of first responders:

“Shall the Constitution of Virginia be amended to allow the General Assembly to provide an option to the localities to exempt from taxation the real property of the surviving spouse of any law-enforcement officer, firefighter, search and rescue personnel, or emergency medical services personnel who was killed in the line of duty, where the surviving spouse occupies the real property as his or her principal place of residence and has not remarried?”

I also support the second constitutional amendment that will give localities the option to provide a property tax exemption to the surviving spouse of a law enforcement, firefighter, or emergency service member killed in the line of duty.

Virginians previously approved a similar provision to the surviving spouses of military members killed in action. It seems reasonable and appropriate to allow for that same courtesy to the surviving spouses of law enforcement and first responders. Just like so many service members, many have given the ultimate sacrifice to keep us safe. While it is optional for localities to participate, this amendment is a small recognition for the efforts of our first responders who put their lives on the line each and every day.

I encourage you to vote “Yes” on ballot question two.