Our Region Helping Other Virginians--
Our thoughts and prayers go out to our fellow Virginians who are trying to recover from the devastating storms last week. From Appomattox to the Chesapeake Bay, there were paths of destruction when at least 8 tornadoes touched down, with some determined as E-F 3 category winds.
The legislators and staff in the General Assembly Building took shelter in the basement and interior rooms as the warning sirens blared. The winds were high, but we escaped a direct hit downtown. That was not the case for the town of Waverly, just 46 miles to the Southeast, where there was great destruction and sadly 3, including a child, who lost their lives. There was another death in Appomattox.
Whenever a disaster like this hits, we soon hear that God’s Pit Crew is on the move. A non-profit group, God’s Pit Crew volunteers and trucks quickly pulled out of Danville to respond. They took trucks of supplies to the Appomattox area and more trucks with supplies, volunteers, and special clean-up equipment, to Waverly.
The volunteers help as much as possible with recovery and try to bring some normalcy back to the affected areas. They take on the hard jobs of cutting limbs and removing debris, while giving out water and Blessing Buckets full of basic living supplies. Along with their deliveries and hard work, they also give very important encouraging words and hugs that offer hope.
We are so thankful to the men and women of God’s Pit Crew who volunteer. Under the leadership of Randy Johnson, Director, and John Cline, Operations Director, they selflessly give their time and energy to help others. And, we are thankful for all the citizens who may not be able to go personally, but who give crucial support through donations of goods and money. It is definitely community teamwork carrying out a tremendous mission.
In Richmond, we are in our final two weeks of the 2016 Legislative Session. There are still challenges with completing the Budget and coming to agreement on a few bills that have conflicting language between the House and Senate. However, I expect those bills to be ironed out and adjournment to be on time. I will send future reports to highlight some of them.
After adjournment, the legislators go home to live and work in our communities. The “citizen legislature” of Virginia works to be efficient. Citizens do not need to “watch” for new laws year-round. The regular Session ends March 12th and most changes in law will take effect July 1st. No new bills can be introduced until next year.
We are currently in our offices in Richmond. You can contact us by sending an e-mail to DelDMarshall@house.virginia.gov or by sending a letter to me at PO Box 406, Richmond, VA 23218-0406, or by calling 804-698-1014. And, visit www.dannymarshall.com