Candidates for the Virginia House of Delegates were asked the following questions by The Washington Post:
Issue: What do you believe is the most important statewide issue the 1983 General Assembly will confront?
Budget: What is your opinion of the Robb administration's budget cuts? Would you cut some programs more deeply and restore funds to others?
Problem: What Northern Virginia problem is most in need of legislative attention?
Warren E. Barry (R), Incumbent, 49, of 8572 Gwynedd Way, Springfield, a seven-term delegate, is president of Barry Associates Inc., a commercial property management firm. He is House minority whip and serves on General Laws, Corporations, Insurance and Banking and Counties, Cities and Towns committees.
Issue: The impact of potential revenue shortfalls estimated to range between $64.1 million and $108.4 million for fiscal year 1983 will be the most important issue. While reduction in federal funding combined with shortfalls in anticipated state revenues have created a monetary crisis which will, no doubt, preoccupy the 1983 session, we can ill afford to ignore other pressing needs. The continuing problems with road maintenance and construction, the plight of Medicaid and care of the elderly, crime, our penal system as well as the needs of public education are but a few of the issues to be addressed. The 1983 session of the General Assembly will require legislators who have the stamina, the common sense and the fortitude to confront the most difficult of problems. Northern Virginia must send experienced legislators with proven records of accomplishment to ensure that we do not absorb more than our share of cutbacks.
Budget: There have been occasions in recent years where budget cutting became necessary in Virginia, and this unpleasant task was accomplished during the administration of both Mills Godwin and John Dalton. The depth of the recession combined with unemployment have created a far more complex and critical problem for our present governor. The $25 million contingency fund created by the General Assembly during the 1982 session has already been eradicated by legitimate claims, and revenue projections dictate immediate action by the chief executive who must comply with the prohibition against deficit spending mandated by Virginia constitution. Gov. Robb has placed faith in his cabinet and department heads by permitting them to make the judgment as to where the 5 percent reductions in expenditures will occur. I approve of this action based upon existing information and circumstance.
Problem: There are few who reside in Northern Virginia who don't recognize that traffic congestion is that one problem that each of us faces on a daily basis. Northern Virginia legislators must continue to join in concert in the quest for, first, a larger commitment on the part of the state as it relates to the funding of mass transit needs of Northern Virginia and, second, a revision of the formula by which road funds are allocated for maintenance, repair and construction of roadways. We have made significant progress in recent years, culminating in the Northern Virginia delegation accomplishing the impossible by receiving a permanent commitment for continued funding of Metro as a budget item. Our efforts must be focused on continuing and increasing funding of mass transit and changing road allocation formulas to give more emphasis to traffic volume which will benefit Northern Virginia.
Mark Glaser (D), 33, of 8067 Tributary Ct., Springfield, is a special education teacher in the Fairfax County schools. He was president of his civic association and is active in local Democratic politics, community affairs and efforts to prevent youth drug and alcohol abuse. He holds a PhD from The American University.
Issue: Adolescent drug and alcohol abuse is one of the greatest problems facing the entire country. Drug and alcohol abuse has to be curbed. The increasing rate of adolescent suicide needs the General Assembly's attention. Specific judicial penalties need to be established for adults using juveniles as intermediaries in drug operations. The present laws need to be enforced during sentencing procedures. My opponent has tried unsuccessfully to raise the legal drinking age to 21. But because he has investments in bars, he continues to be an unlikely proponent of raising the drinking age. I would never allow the fox to guard the hen house. What our teenagers need are adults who are willing to help them with the pressures teenagers are exposed to currently; all social institutions need to pay closer attention to the teenagers' emotional well-being.
Budget: Because federal aid for human services has been reduced substantially (education, Medicare, etc.), Gov. Robb has moved to maintain essential services without increasing taxes. I maintain a conservative approach to fiscal expenditures and believe the state should supply human services unavailable in the open market place. I do not support a statewide 5 percent reduction of income tax; Northern Virginians presently supply a disproportionate amount of money to the state's budget. Northern Virginians' tax dollars must now come back to us to meet our present transportation problems. Any move to make the expenditure 5 percent higher would mean Northern Virginians would get 10 percent less. If any restructuring of the state's income tax is done, Northern Virginians will pay an even greater part of the state budget. Northern Virginians do not have the votes to prevent this area from paying more taxes if restructuring the income tax becomes a political football. This is why the state budget must remain clearly balanced between expenditures and income.
Problem: The Northern Virginia problems that need immediate General Assembly attention are a variety of transportation needs. The Springfield Metro station must be completed with financial help from the state. Intra-county bus service should be instituted to prevent total dependency on the automobile. Also, Northern Virginia streets need to be improved. Our main thoroughfares must be modernized to meet current traffic patterns. The monies that built the modern highways throughout the state must be directed to Northern Virginia to improve our streets.