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?
Robert T. Andrews (R), Incumbent, 62, of 820 Turkey Run Rd., McLean, is a retired lawyer who has worked at the U.S. Justice and Defense departments and the White House. He was elected to the General Assembly last year and is a member of the Roads, Mining and Claims committees in the House of Delegates.
Issue: The constant issue before the General Assembly is money and its use: how to get it, conserve it and spend it. The 1983 General Assembly must continue to face up to the funding of education, roads, law enforcement, Metro and services for the old, the needy, the mentally impaired. As population grows and problems multiply, the availability of funds is not keeping pace. It is obvious that we in the General Assembly must whittle our "wish list" to a realistic "need list." We must attract new business and industry by improving the state's basic infrastructure of strong education and efficient transportation. A significant challenge to the General Assembly will be to shape a tax system that will ensure needed revenues, avoid discouraging private initiatives, and yet be fair and equitable.
Budget: Virginia is a "pay as you go" state. When projected revenues fall off, the governor is required to make budget cuts. I generally agree with his actions at this time. Later, there may be a need to make selective adjustments in certain areas. Two areas that probably deserve exemption from the budget cuts are (a) state aid to localities for public education, and (b) the funding of employment offices throughout the state.
Problem: The traveling public in Northern Virginia (the daily commuter, the air passenger and the Metro user) are sending a clear message -- do something about Northern Virginia's transportation systems. As a member of the Roads and Transportation Committee in the House of Delegates, I will work for: 1) changes in the formula for the allocation of road funds so that Northern Virginia will get its fair share; as a corollary, we should have our own highway office in Northern Virginia; 2) provide permanent funding from general revenues for the support of the Metro system, and 3) increased appropriations to promote greater use of Dulles International Airport and a corresponding reduction in flights in and out of National Airport.
Marie W. Ridder (D), 57, of 1219 Crest La., McLean, has been a deputy to the director of Head Start. She has an extensive background in journalism as a writer and editor and has been active in Democratic politics and local community groups for many years. She is a member of the Virginia Council on the Environment.
Issue: The most important issue the Virginia legislature will have to face is how to replace essential federal programs at a time when state revenues are being shrunk by the recession. Legislators will have to choose priorities as every facet of our lives is affected by reduced federal funding.*the block grant cannot satisfy state needs in education, care of the elderly and handicapped, consumer safeguards and protection of the environment. The federal government provided large grants to education; they have been decimated. It provided a range of services that protected the consumer, such as quality meat inspection; that is gone. Federal programs to protect the environment have been devastated. Now Virginia must find a way to do this, and much more, without federal funding. The fundamental quality of our lives is at stake. Where we find the money to protect it thus becomes the overriding concern of our time.
Budget: Gov. Robb is forced to cut his budget because state tradition and custom demand a balanced budget. Faced with the possibility of a deficit next year that will be between $48-104 million, I agree with the governor's priorities. He has cut the expenses of state agencies. The governor has continued his emphasis on upgrading education by refusing to make an across-the-board cut in state aid to local schools. He is struggling to maintain the human and social services budget. At a time when so much federal funding is being eliminated, the shrinking of funds in the state treasury forces choices that are inevitably controversial. I think that the governor, in a very difficult time, is making an intelligent effort to choose the right priorities.
Problem: I see several issues of equal priority: transportation; an expansion of Metro; building new roads and improving old ones; funding for schools and community colleges; assuring a clean Potomac. Northern Virginia needs to get back its full share of the tax money it sends to Richmond. Above all, Northern Virginia, like the rest of the state, needs a viable economy to do what needs doing for the lives of its citizens.