All candidates were asked:
Major objective: Name one objective, or piece of legislation, you would seek if elected.
Equal Rights Amendment: Is it realistic to expect the Virginia House to approve the Equal Rights Amendment? Do you support its passage. Why or why not?
Local funding: The Reagan administration budget cuts will be felt in Virginia in the coming year, forcing some state and local governments to curtail some activities. Should the state provide funds or taxing sources to local government to make up for these cuts?
John W. Adams Jr., 51, 7524 Murillo St., Springfield, is a self-employed businessman and a fourth-generation native of Fairfax County. He was a founding officer of VOTES GO (Virginians Organized to Eliminate Suppressive Gun Ordinances). He is a Marine Corps veteran.
Major objective: Human life amendment; expansion of port facilities; secure and humane prisons; elimination of sales tax on food and medicine.
Equal Rights Amendment: No. I do not support its passage.Adoption of the Equal Rights Amendment would ultimately transfer authority from democratically elected government to federal judges and the obvious results would be destructive to our republic. I am, of course, in favor of equal rights for women but not by way of the ERA amendment.
Local funding: No.
Robert C. Brostrom, 30, 4203 Americana Dr., Annandale, is an employe of the C&P Telephone Co. He has been active in various Republican Party groups. He is a past president of the Annandale Jaycees and has a bachelor's degree in political science.
Major objective: I would seek immediate repeal of the sales tax on food and drugs. Returning the $250 million surplus to the taxpayers will be my first priority.
Equal Rights Amendment: It is not realistic to expect ratification of the ERA. I strongly support equal rights and equal pay for women but not the ERA. The ERA would require the drafting of women and wipe out protective laws that are beneficial to women. It would take power from the states and give it to the federal courts, where too musch authority is concentrated already.
Local funding: The Commenwealth should tighten its belt and develop a more austere budget at the state level. Not only should additional taxing sources not be provided but taxes like the food tax should be cut.
James H. Dillard II, 47, 4709 Briar Patch, Fairfax, is a four-term member of the House of Delegates and the ranking Republican on the House Education Committee. He is a government teacher for the Fairfax County Public Schools. He was 1980-81 chairman of the Virginia State Water Study Commission.
Major objective: I intend to seek the establishment of a small claims court system in Virginia. Small claims courts could relieve the backlog of cases on the regular courts and provide an avenue of redress for those wo lack access to legal counsel.
Equal Rights Amendment: I support ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment. The best chance for passage of the ERA seems to lie in a discharge petition, which would bypass the Privileges and Election Committee to place the bill before the full House, where it stands a good chance of approval.
Local funding: It is premature to discuss increased taxing authority for localities when the nature of cuts in local services due to reduced federal spending is unknown. Federal spending cuts end mandatory participation in certain programs, and localities will have more freedom to set their own priorities, reallocating funds accordingly. Furthermore, federal money will continue to be received by the state in the form of block grants, which will allow the state to realign services according to local needs instead of costly federal guidelines. I do not support a reduction of state support of basic services, and would support appropriate funding of essential needs.
Robert E. Harris, 45, 4440 Glenn Rose St., Fairfax, is seeking his fifth term in the House, where he serves on the Roads and Internal Navigation, the Claims and the Corporations, Insurance and Banking committeess. He is group director for energy and environtmental programs at Rockwell International Corp.
Major objective: Tax fairness for Fairfax County and Northern Virginians continues to be a major concern to me and my constituents. Although Northern Virginia has approximately 25 percent of the state population, we pay 33 percent of all revenues derived from state income taxes and 38 percent of all state revenue derived from state income tax bracket creep. I will reintroduce legislation that indexes income taxes to the consumer price index. Last year the Virginia House defeated my bill dealing with this issue. Also related to the tax fairness issue is repeal of the sales tax on food, which I voted for in a recorded vote in 1981, and have consistently supported.
Equal Rights Amendment: In the eight years that I have been in the Virginia House, the proposed U.S. constitutional amendment on equal rights has not reached the House floor. On four previous occasions, I have sworn under oath to support the Constitution of Virginia, including Article 1, Section 1, providing for the equality and rights of all our citizens. My support for the Virginia constitution is consistent with my support for the proposed U.S. constitutional amendment providing for equality and rights of all U.S. citizens. The entire Virginia congressional delegation and Virginia Sen. Harry Byrd Jr. all voted for the proposed U.S. constitutional amendment to be seen to the state assemblies for review and consideration.
Local funding: State aid for Fairfax County in fiscal year. 1981 is $131.5 million with $103.5 million going to Fairfax County schools. In fiscal year 1982 state aid is expected to further increase with $109.7 million going to the Fairfax County schools. A recent analysis by the state tax commissioner of the recently passed Reagan tax cut package projects net revenue growth in Virginia for 1982-1984 of 105 million. In early 1981 state revenue growth was expected to increase over $1.5 billion next year, over this year. The latest Reagan budget cut impact figures are about $250 million on Virginia next year. By taking a hard look at current state spending, putting critical programs and public service in a priority ranking and taking into consideration state revenue growth. I feel additional taxes will be unnecessary. Additional state funding may be in order.
Joseph Morrissey, 23, 6820 Cherry Lane, Annandale, is a native Virginian. He was graduated from the University of Virginia and is now attending law school at Georgetown University.
Major objective: Swift, certain and more stern punishment in the criminal justice system. For nonviolent crime, more diverse programs should be instituted.
Equal Rights Amendment: No, it is not realistic. I support the first two parts but not the ERA itself. It is not in the best interests of women in the Commonwealth area. I definitely support equal rights for women (i.e. equal pay and job opportunities).
Local funding: With Reagan's block grant programs, cuts in Virginia won't be that great. The state won't be losing much federal aid.
Lawrence D. Pratt, 38, 6812 Landor Lane, Springfield, a public affairs consultant. An incumbent, he serves on the Conservation and Natural Resources and the Labor and Commerce committees. He was a Reagan delegate to the 1980 Republican National Convention.
Major objective: If reelected, among my objectives in the House of Delegates will be to continue to work for tougher penalties for violent criminals and ways to improve the state's victim witness and restitution programs. My first two years in office also have reinforced by belief in the need for another measure, namely an amendment to Virginia's Constitution that would give the citizens the right to initiate and repeal laws by referendum. California's tax relief was finally achieved when voters got such measures on the ballot through the initiative process.
Equal Rights Amendment: It is difficult to know how a vote on ratification of the federal ERA would fare in the House because the measure has never gotten out of committee. I oppose passage of the federal amendment because I believe the state level is the proper place for reforming family law involving divorce and inheritance. The federal amendment would not make existing laws pertaining to providing such protections as equal pay for equal work any more effective, but under the terms of Section 2 of the ERA, Congress would have sole authority for enforcement. Furthermore, proponents have never proven that the ERA would not compel women to be drafted and assigned to combat.
Local funding: The election of Ronald Reagan represent a mandate for reversing an ever-increasing burden of taxation and over-regulation. When the entire country is moving in this direction, now would be a particularly inopportune moment for Virginia to take a burden removed from the federal level and replace it at the state or local level. For that reason I would oppose new taxes in the Commonwealth to make up for federal cuts.
Robert L. Thoburn, 52, 11121 Pope's Head Rd., was a member of the House of Delegates from 1978 to 1980. He is an educator and small businessman. Thoburn was a magna cum laude graduate of Muskingum College.
Major objective: To reform the criminal justice system so the crime does not pay in Virginia. Virginia should have mandatory sentences for violent criminals, and should require that nonviolent criminals make monetary restitution to their victims in order to compensate them for stolen or destroyed property. The death penalty should be required for first-degree murder.
Equal Rights Amendment: The Supreme Court recently rules that Congress does not have to draft women or send them into combat on the same basis as men. I am opposed to amending the Constitution in a way which would remove this discretionary authority from Congress. I support federal legislation which has been passed guaranteeing women equal pay for equal work, equal credit, equal employment and equal educational opportunities. As a delegate, I introduced legislation calling for a referendum on ERA so that the people of Virginia could express their views.
Local funding: Essential state and local services can be maintained without increasing taxes. Formulas for distributing state education and transportation funds need to be revised so that Northern Virginia is no longer shortchanged.