Va. delegate wants federal workers protected from debt collection

WASHINGTON – Virginia Del. Bob Marshall, R-Manassas, doesn’t want to see federal workers who live in Virginia end up in court for debt collections because of the government shutdown, so he will propose legislation to give feds a break.

Under his proposal, Marshall said, “No debt collections will be processed in state courts if they are against employees directly affected by the shutdown, which is primarily federal employees.”

Marshall also wants a moratorium on any utility cutoffs for federal workers.

Virginia has more than 170,000 federal workers, and Marshall said he worries the longer the shutdown goes, the more workers will be affected by debt collections and utility shutdowns.

Marshall requested a special session of the Virginia General Assembly, but Gov. Bob McDonnell rejected the idea.

Marshall will pursue the legislation in the General Assembly session that starts in January.

Park Swap

On another note related to the shutdown, Marshall said October is the biggest time of year for businesses that depend on tourists visiting Shenandoah National Park and Skyline Drive.

He said if the federal government can’t keep the 280-square mile park open, it should give the land back to Virginia.

“We gave it to them. They should give it back. If they can’t run it for the public, give it back to Virginia. We’ll run it,” Marshall said.

While that idea is not likely to take hold, Marshall said it has happened before. Arlington and Alexandria were originally part of D.C. but were returned to Virginia in 1846.

WTOP’s Hank Silverberg contributed to this story. Follow @hsilverbergWTOP and @WTOP on Twitter.

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