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?
Vincent F. Callahan Jr. (R), Incumbent, 50, of 6220 Nelway Dr., McLean, a delegate since 1968, is House minority leader. He has been active in community groups, including mental health associations and the United Way. He is publisher and editor of Callahan Publications and a member of the Commission to Study Virginia's Future.
Issue: Virginia, like other states, is being confronted with a gradual shifting of certain responsibilities from federal to state government, with the accompanying financial implications. New Federalism properly recognizes the position of state government in our federal system by placing local and state responsibilities with local and state government, and Virginia must be ready to accept this challenge. Budgetary considerations will dominate the 1983 session and it is anticipated that an improving economy will allow the General Assembly to restore previously curtailed state funding and adequately meet its responsibilities to provide necessary state services without placing a higher burden of taxation on Virginia's citizens.
Budget: Under Virginia law a balanced budget is mandated. Gov. Robb, like Gov. Godwin in the mid-'70s, has no alternative but to cut appropriations in order to meet anticipated shortfalls in projected revenue. While a 5 percent reduction in appropriations for agencies under the control of the executive branch of government appears necessary, these cuts should be selective since some programs obviously have a higher priority than others. Administrative cuts can be made without adversely affecting ultimate state services. Education remains the state's highest priority and should continue to receive this consideration as spending cuts are implemented. Virginia's budget for the 1982-84 biennium is 18 percent higher than the previous period and anticipated cuts will still see higher spending.
Problem: Transportation remains the most pressing Northern Virginia problem. While considerable progress was made during the 1982 session of the General Assembly to provide a state financial obligation for mass transit, our problems have by no means been solved. Metro deficits will continue to increase and plague local governments and taxpayers. More funding will have to be found to meet these deficits without placing additional financial burdens on those who pay property taxes. Also, a more equitable distribution of state highway revenues, including revising the road formula, must be achieved. Northern Virginia should also have its own highway district to properly serve the needs of this growing and highly mobile part of Virginia.
Joseph W. McDonald (D), 29, of 116 W. Cameron Rd., Falls Church, a political researcher, has been on the campaign staffs of several Democrats, including former U.S. Rep. Joseph L. Fisher and state Sen. Clive I. DuVal II. He has a political science degree from The American University and has been vice chairman of the Falls Church Democratic Committee.
Issue: The loss of federal revenue to the state threatens essential programs, particularly in the social services. Returning control of these programs to the state may be a good thing. Without the accompanying funds however, there may be no programs to administer. Furthermore, the programs most threatened affect those individuals least able to compensate for the loss.
Budget: Some cuts in the budget must be made under the present conditions. This means looking closer at what priorities have been established. I am opposed to cuts in education, for example, an area all too often the first to be affected.
Problem: Northern Virginia is a fast growing, urbanized area. Our needs are different in many respects from the rest of the state. How fast we develop, what kinds of development we choose and how it ultimately affects us are all important considerations. This, coupled with the social service needs of an urban/suburban environment, makes it imperative that Northern Virginia receive its fair share of state allocations.