Hi, this is Rob Bloxom reporting from Richmond.
The committees have met, and the subcommittees have been assigned by the chairman. Again, I have been fairly treated by the majority party having been assigned seven subcommittee appointments. This brings my workload to eleven committees.
The subcommittees are where the real work on a bill occurs. The bills are being referred by the speaker to the committee where the chairman in turn assigns the bill to the subcommittee. Hopefully, the subcommittee has expertise in the subject area. I mention this because there are thirty-nine new members in the one-hundred-member chamber. This is a new level of challenge as some members are still in “campaign mode” when all the legislation from the opposing party must die. This usually wears off after a few weeks when there is really no time for foolishness as the workload increases.
What I mainly want to focus on in this report is the great divide that exists in Virginia. Some may look at this divide as either being Republican or Democrat. However, I look at it through a geographical and demographic lens. This became quite clear to me when the introduction of the Agriculture Committee recently took place. The closest rural Democrat is Delegate Dan Helmer. His district includes a few wineries and horse farms but has no large production in agriculture, as it is near Fairfax.
Most residents are young and probably moved to Virginia fewer than ten years ago. They are ethnically diverse and their parents or perhaps themselves might have endured some form of discrimination. They all made comments about clean water, streams, trees, and parks and believe that government is part of the solution as most of these work for either non-profit organizations or government agencies. Then when you look at the Republican mix of the committee, we have more years of experience than any committee in the General Assembly. We are from areas that have lost tobacco, furniture manufacturing, textile industries, coal, and major vegetable production, and WE feel that the government is the problem. As diverse as the two parties are and because there are many bills that we will never agree upon, meeting your fellow committee members is crucial. Educating, building, and maintaining relationships are all important objectives that benefit the whole legislative body and benefit our Commonwealth as a whole.
In the next few weeks I will address the legislation that I will patron. I am happy to meet with the many constituents coming from the Eastern Shore and Hampton Roads and listen to their specific interests. Please feel free to contact me while I am in Richmond at (804) 698-1000 or at my District Office in Mappsville at (757)824-3456.
If you are coming to Richmond, please visit me at my office in the new General Assembly Building. I am on the 7th Floor in Room 711.
Robert S. Bloxom, Jr.
Delegate – 100th District