Candidates for the Virginia House of Delegates were asked the following questions by The Washington Post:
Issue: What do you believe in 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?
Linda H. Michael (R), 45, of 210 N. Royal St., Alexandria, is an architect. She serves on the Alexandria Industrial Development Authority and is a past president of the city Chamber of Commerce. She is a board member of the First American Bank of Virginia and the Tribune Company Cable of Alexandria. She is active in community programs.
Issue: State revenue collections are currently falling significantly below the projections on which the state budget is based. This fact, together with a reduced level of federal appropriations, will present the 1983 General Assembly with a major challenge in revising its spending priorities. Projected expenditures will obviously have to be curtailed to fit anticipated income, and accomplishing this without doing real damage to essential state programs will be the most important issue confronting the General Assembly.
Budget: By acting promptly and spreading the impact of the budget cuts over a longer period of time, Gov. Robb has minimized the heavier impact which the cuts would have caused had they been postponed until late in the year. By exempting out public schools and the health and welfare programs from the cuts, Gov. Robb took what I believe to be the most humane course.
Problem: Northern Virginia's biggest problem is the ever escalating deficit of Metro, of which it pays almost one-third and which is expected to rise 400 percent in the next five years. The largest portion of this deficit is attributable to the buses, and in response to the problem several Northern Virginia jurisdictions are considering starting their own bus systems. To avoid fragmentation of service and inefficiency of separate bus lines by each jurisdiction, I would propose an amendment to the state appropriations bill permitting the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission, which already has authority to operate buses, to use the funds appropriated for Metro to establish a Northern Virginia regional bus system. Such a system could, in fact, provide better service at less cost and is a viable alternative now that Metro rail stations, which can be served by Northern Virginia buses, are or will soon be available for interstate transportation.
Marian Van Landingham (D), Incumbent, of 1100 Cameron St., Alexandria, was first elected to the House last fall. She is on Education and Elections committees and chairs a special committee on telecommunications. She founded the Torpedo Factory Art Center in Old Town.
Issue: How to set priorities and maintain services hard hit by federal budget cuts, particularly in the areas of health care for the elderly, education, student loans, day care and housing. We must be careful with tax dollars but responsible in meeting legitimate needs.
Budget: The Robb administration inherited Dalton's budget and the problem of major federal funding cuts -- combined with a depression in the economy that has reduced tax revenues and increased costs of services to the unemployed. To maintain a balanced budget, I believe Robb has acted wisely. With more time in office to analyze programs, he may be able to eliminate or reduce some activities and give greater support to others, but this is for the future and was not possible in the short run.
Problem. Housing, and all of its ramifications, remains critical in Northern Virginia. Our Alexandria delegation recently sponsored a statewide housing conference to receive testimony to help prepare next year's legislative package. Landlord-tenant relations, the loss of rental housing to the condominization process, the problems of condominium and cooperative ownership, taxation policies, the financing of low- and moderate-income homes and many other issues have to be considered.