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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Solid Mix From the 26th

From left to right: Delegate Luke Torian, Delegate Danny Marshall, Delegate Rob Bloxom, Delegate Tony Wilt, Delegate Lee Ware, Delegate Margaret Ransone, Delegate Michael Webert

From left to right: Delegate Luke Torian, Delegate Danny Marshall, Delegate Rob Bloxom, Delegate Tony Wilt, Delegate Lee Ware, Delegate Margaret Ransone, Delegate Michael Webert

With the unofficial end of summer behind us and the official beginning of autumn just a few days away, I hope everyone is enjoying the cooler weather and start of the fall festival and sports season.

The last few weeks have been particularly busy for me with a number of facility tours, along with several forums and local meetings that I participated in. I want to thank everyone that came out to our annual Valley Business Summit in August. We had a great crowd and I hope it was a good opportunity for business owners and entrepreneurs to network and gain some valuable information.

Last week I joined my colleagues on the Chesapeake Subcommittee for a two day retreat that took us to several locations in the Northern Neck region and Gloucester Point. It was a great hands-on opportunity to gain more information and insight on the issues that the Chesapeake Subcommittee considers.

Request a Sign

I’m sure everyone has seen campaign signs popping up around the community. While I have some signs out, I would like to get more placed before Election Day. If you would like a sign for your home or business, please let us know and we will be sure to make arrangements to get it to you. We have smaller yard signs, as well as larger 4×4 signs that we would like to place in more prominent locations.

House Page Program

Applications are currently being accepted until 5:00 pm on October 19 for the House Page Program. Any 13 or 14 year old student (as of Jan. 13, 2016) can apply online to serve as a page for the 2016 General Assembly Session. It is a highly regarded program that immerses students in the legislative process. Participants gain knowledge and experience that is difficult to obtain in a classroom setting.

All applicants are required to obtain a letter of endorsement from their Delegate. Before submitting a letter of support it is my requirement to meet with the applicant. If you are interested in becoming a House Page, please contact my office at (540) 208-0735 or to set up an appointment. Click here to access the online application.

Food Drive 1Food Drive – Thanks for Your Support!

I want to thank everyone that contributed to our food drive. We were able to fill up the back of my truck and donated 381 pounds of food to the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank! A special thanks to Phyllis Rinaca and Anne Nielsen who both made large donations.

On September 1st I delivered the food to the Verona office and enjoyed spending a few hours with several of my General Assembly colleagues sorting food and learning more about how the food bank operates.

Important November Election Deadlines

  • Deadline to register to vote: October 13
  • Deadline to apply for absentee ballot by mail: October 27
  • Last day to vote in peron absentee: October 31


Solid Mix From the 26th

2015 July 4 ParadeI hope everyone had a great Independence Day. I enjoyed seeing many of you at the Harrisonburg parade on Saturday. We had a large group of volunteers that walked the parade, thanks to everyone that came out! In the coming months, I look forward to seeing you at the various fairs, lawn parties and other community events throughout the district.


Donate To Our Food Drive!

On September 1st I will join my colleagues at the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank for Elected Officials Volunteer Day. Since September is Hunger Awareness Month, I thought it would be great if we could show up to the food bank that morning with a truck load of food to help those in need in our community. So we have decided to hold a food drive throughout the remainder of July and August. Our goal is to fill up the back of my pickup truck with non-perishable food items. To do this, I will need your help!

Please drop off non-perishable items at my office anytime during normal business hours between now and Monday, August 31. My legislative office is located at 420 Neff Avenue, Suite 130, Harrisonburg. For a list of the most needed items, please click here.

In addition to my office, we will also have a donation box available during the Rockingham County Fair at the Republican booth. Please feel free to visit the Republican booth and drop off your items during fair week (August 17-22).

Thanks in advance for your help in reaching our goal! As you know, there are many folks in our own community that are faced with hunger on a regular basis, many of them children. This is one small thing we can do to assist the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank in addressing this problem.

New Laws To Consider

As many of you may already be aware, the majority of the laws that were passed in the 2015 General Assembly Session went into effect on July 1, 2015. Some of these law changes may affect you.

Each year, the Department of Legislative Services compiles a list of legislation that may affect Virginia citizens. While this is by no means a comprehensive list, I encourage you to take a look at it, and share it with your friends.

This publication, titled In Due Course, can be found online here.

Save the Date

Please save the date for the third annual Valley Business Summit at Blue Ridge Community College. This year’s event will be held on Wednesday, August 26. Registration will begin around 7:30am and the event should conclude by noon.

The event is FREE of charge and open to any business owner/manager or aspiring entrepreneur. Participants will have the opportunity to learn more about what resources may be available to assist in starting or growing their business, and they will actually be able to connect with officials from various agencies and organizations that can help them pursue these resources. More details will be forthcoming soon, but be sure to mark your calendar.

Reflections on Recent Supreme Court Rulings

The King v. Burwell ruling issued Thursday should be extremely concerning to everyone who values the rule of law over the wants or desires of individuals. This is the most prominent principal on which our nation was founded to protect us from tyranny and an abusive government. In Justice Scalia’s dissenting opinion he rightfully stated, “The Court forgets that ours is a government of laws and not of men. That means we are governed by the terms of our laws, not by the unenacted will of our lawmakers.”

The fact is the plain language written in the Affordable Care Act stated that only those that were receiving coverage through a state run exchange could receive subsidies. Certainly had the Supreme Court ruled differently Congress would have needed to act to offer some type of reasonable alternative to the individuals impacted. During the 2015 Session, House Republicans passed proactive legislation that would have put our laws in a posture to allow those currently receiving subsidies to gain less expensive insurance coverage that they could afford. The measure passed the legislature but was ultimately vetoed by the Governor.

Every year the General Assembly passes laws where the patron or supporters may have intended for it to work one way, but the language of the legislation as passed and signed by the Governor requires that it actually be applied differently than the legislature may have intended. All of my colleagues would agree that this is something we should try to avoid; hence why our founders had the foresight to develop a legislative process that involves numerous hurdles that can be cumbersome and hard to overcome at times. However, even with this process in place mistakes happen, we are only human. When this occurs do we rely on the courts or the agency administering the new policy to make assumptions about what we may have meant? No, we go back the next year and try to change the law to more closely align with our intentions.

When our court system and leaders think it is acceptable to interpret laws based on what we want them to be or what we think they should have been, rather than what they are, it creates a slippery slope. If the court or an executive can essentially change the law without the legislature taking the action, it negates the need for the legislative body. In turn, once you don’t need the legislature, you really don’t need the judicial system either. That natural progression ensures that you are well on the way to a dictatorship or an oligarchy. To be absolutely clear, I’m not suggesting we have reached that point, but decisions like this could certainly lay the first block of the foundation.

Regardless of your party affiliation or whether or not you support the Affordable Care Act, I hope you consider the potential implications of this ruling beyond the merits of the policy being considered. I pray that we aren’t able look back 50 years from now and pinpoint this ruling as the turning point in our representative democracy.

I am also certainly disheartened by the Supreme Court’s decision in the same sex marriage case, Obergefell v. Hodges. I still believe that marriage should be a union between one man and one woman.

Unfortunately the Supreme Court has made their decision, and as a nation governed by the rule of law we must respect their authority and comply with the law.

Now the battle must turn towards protecting religious liberties. We have already seen numerous challenges to those who do not wish to abandon the principals of their faith to facilitate a union that they believe their faith calls them to oppose. Religious leaders should not be forced to marry same sex individuals, nor should a baker be required to make a cake for a same sex wedding. I intend to vehemently oppose any effort to require individuals to abandon their faith in order to avoid prosecution or financial ruin.