Opinion — Redistricting update
Published 12:14 pm Saturday, December 18, 2021
There has been much conversation about redistricting in the last several months. This should be brought to a conclusion prior to Christmas. The constitutionally approved Redistricting Commission could not agree on a plan, therefore, it was left to the State Supreme Court.
Many have seen the lines drawn by the so called “masters.” These are preliminary at best. The court is receiving input this week. The masters were not Virginians, thus they did not consider features about regions. As an example, they included a chunk of the Northern Neck with part of the middle and lower Peninsulas. On paper, it looks okay except that there are few bridges that tie them together. The Northern Neck is much closer to the Fredericksburg area. This is just one example.
I have watched with concern because in past redistricting the 15th has gone as far east as Suffolk and as far north as Fluvanna. I look at our region as all part of the same fabric and will do all I can for all. As currently proposed, they would add the rest of Halifax, Danville, and Pittsylvania and the southern part of Prince Edward to the 15th and remove Brunswick, Dinwiddie and Prince George.
I do have concerns overall as to how the districts were drawn with no consideration of sitting delegates and senators. If no adjustments, you would lose half of the current House and Senate members. That much turnover in one year would result in lost institutional knowledge. With 17 new delegates this year, there will be a lot of learning this year. Imagine 50 delegates and 20 senators at once!
More on climate change
Since I started the series on climate change a couple of weeks ago, readers have given me their perspectives. One reader pointed out that when Texas had a bad freeze, the state was in turmoil. Solar panels were iced over. Without sufficient backup, some homes were without power for a week.
Another reader sent me studies of climate done from studying ice cores drilled deep into Greenland. That study concludes that temperatures in the last hundred years have been the coldest since the ice age. Therefore, the starting point of the “climate control” alarmists have begun their base line at an arbitrary starting point to reach a conclusion they want rather than more honest research.
Governor-elect Youngkin agrees with me. We cannot destroy our economy based on faulty research. This past week, he declared his interest in removing Virginia from a several state group that we should never have joined. This is a carbon tax that is fully passed forward to rate payers of electric companies. This year this resulted in over $100 million additional energy rates for Virginians that were spent on pet projects.
Meanwhile, legislation that Governor Northam pushed binds Virginia to the California model. This bill, in effect, says anything California requires for new cars Virginia will conform to it. Not a very smart way to do business!
Supply chain issues
The news and President have pointed to the problems at the Long Beach and Los Angeles shipyards and made the case that this is the reason for empty shelves across the country. This is not the main issue that is driving shortages that we are currently facing.
Certainly, almost 200 ships backed up is slowing some items coming from China and the Far East. However, that is not the case at the Virginia ports. We have modernized them over the last few years. Every ship coming to Virginia is unloaded in a day or two. Others on the East and Gulf Coasts are doing almost as well.
The greater supply chain issue is our workforce. Because of the pandemic, many workers found they could do as well not working as working because of federal payments. This has done significant damage to some in the workforce. Employers have dealt with employees leaving, and finding and training replacements. This has resulted in lower production of needed items for consumers and other businesses. If a business cannot get the components they need, they cannot maintain their production.
As you see, there are many issues that must be dealt with. In Virginia, we will begin that process in January. In Washington, hopefully, the ship can be righted a year later.
Frank Ruff Jr. serves as the 15th District senator in Virginia. He can be reached at Sen.Ruff@verizon.net, (434) 374-5129 or P.O. Box 332, Clarksville, VA 23927.