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?
David G. Brickley (D), Incumbent, 38, of 4804 Kellogg Dr., Woodbridge, is president of Dominion Mortgage & Investment Corp. First elected to the House in 1975, he serves on Finance, Conservation and Natural Resources, and Health, Welfare and Insituations committees and chairs a subcommittee on energy and utilities.
Issue: Virginia has traditionally maintained a balanced budget in good times and bad. The current staggering federal deficits, high unemployment and New Federalism will mean substantial losses of revenue to Virginia during the next year. The 1983 General Assembly will find its greatest challenge in continuing to provide the needed services to our citizens, with diminished resources. As a member of the House Finance Committee, I have worked to ensure that our state taxes are among the lowest in the nation. We have kept Virginia a low-tax state while providing increased state funding for our school children, elimination of the sales tax on home heating fuels and elimination of the Virginia inheritance tax. Our goal as legislators is to search for ways to encourage industry to locate and stay in Northern Virginia. We can become the high-tech center of the nation. Better jobs means lower costs of government and a higher quality of life for our families.
Budget: Gov. Robb's budget cuts were the necessary and prudent course of action to take in light of the serious economic crisis our country is experiencing. With unemployment the highest since the end of the Great Depression, and no evidence to suggest that the economy was turning around, the most responsible decision was to order the 5 percent expenditure cutbacks. The steps were taken reluctantly, but were necessary in light of the projected shortfall in the individual income and sales tax revenue of approximately $50-75 million during fiscal year 1983. All agencies will be feeling the pinch, and many needed programs will be struggling with less. Additionally, some long-fought proposals such as the removal of the sales tax on food and nonprescription drugs will have to be delayed, unfortunately, so that our state can weather the storm with a balanced budget. Hopefully, the American people will send a message to our friends in Washington that their economic policy is a disaster and needs immediate correction. Let's get our economy moving again. There are too many people suffering to do otherwise.
Problem: Commuting -- getting our neighbors to and from work in Northern Virginia -- is a problem demanding our utmost attention. There is nothing more frustrating than sitting in traffic every day on I-95. The extension of the I-95 express lanes from Springfield to Quantico has been approved. Now the funding must be appropriated. The Dale City Interchange and Davis Ford Road widening are near completion. Additionally, Prince William's recent $1.3 million state grant for commuter bus transportation is an excellent example of public and private cooperation in solving our transportation problems. The Virginia Ridesharing Act, which I sponsored, has provided incentives to the formation of van, bus and carpools. Now we must use every resource at hand to change the highway department's road allocation formula to recognize the need for increased transportation funding for high-growth counties such as Prince William and Fairfax. This change in the formula was defeated in the House of Delegates by one vote last year. Northern Virginia must win that fight next year.
F. Clancy McQuigg (R), 39, of 1415 Admiral Dr., Woodbridge, is president of his own firm, Strategic Financial Planning Systems Inc., which builds computer models to predict long-term costs for new hardware. An ex-Marine officer decorated for service in Vietnam, he has been president of his civic association and is active in PTA.
Issue: The major issue facing the General Assembly this year and for the foreseeable future is developing creative ways to deal with the adverse economic impact of job displacement without raising taxes. Job Club programs run by Private Industry Councils under CETA have achieved high job placement rates for the unemployed at low cost. The General Assembly should: 1) nurture Private Industry Councils across Virginia; 2) have PICs coordinate job training programs with high schools and community colleges; 3) provide on-the-job training funds for local businesses and provide tax incentives to employ young people and workers displaced by industries which have shut down; 4) require recipients of unemployment and welfare compensation to participate in Job Clubs, and 5) strengthen vocational education programs in our high schools.
Budget: The 5 percent across-the-board cut directed by Gov. Robb ignores the vital interests to Northern Virginians. These cuts are most strongly felt in growing areas where more funds are needed to keep up with demand. This is particularly true of the Northern Virginia Community Colleges and George Mason University. This cut also penalizes efficient agencies and rewards inefficient agencies by redirecting funds to the inefficient agencies under the terms of the budget cut. Budget cuts should be reviewed by the General Assembly, which is charged with setting priorities for state programs.
Problem: The most pressing problem in the 51st District is development of roads which are adequate to get our citizens to and from work in a reasonable time. The bus/carpool lanes on Route 95 must be extended to Quantico. Many of our residents in the heart of Prince William County play key leadership roles in the federal government and on Capitol Hill or work for companies which support key federal decision-makers. The energy these people spend tied up in traffic is energy which cannot be devoted to solving our nation's problems. Another major advantage to extending the limited access lanes to Quantico is that they could be used for vital military traffic during a national emergency without forcing civilian traffic off of the highways.