A survey of the 140 senators and delegates in the Virginia General Asembly has confirmed what many have long suspected -- it has no liveral members, or at least none willing to confess to liberalism.
The overwhelmingly conservative makeup of the Virginia legislature was revealed in a poll conducted by the House of Delegates Appropriations Committee. The purpose of the survey was to gauge legislators' attitudes toward new budget procedures, but it included a question asking for an ideological self-description.
Of the 104 members who responded, 25 percent rated themselves "conservative," 37 percen t"moderate to conservative" and 32 percent "moderate." Only six percent said they are "moderate to liberal" and none described himself as "liberal."
The survey results fortify the Assembly's image as one of the bastions of conservatism in the nation. On national issues, the Virginia legislature has been among those that have prevented ratification of the proposed Equal Rights Amendment, but its resistance to liberalizing the U.S. Constitution has not been limited to that proposal.
At a recent session, the 40-member Senate declined to join other states with a symbolic ratification of existing amendments -- including those prosenators and imposition of the federal income tax.
In answer to another question, five percent of the Virginia legislators said they think the state's current budget is "much too high," 36 percent said it is "too high" and only a small majority," 53 percent said it is "about right." Only six percent said it is "too low." None would go so far as to say it is "much too low."