Virginia voters will be asked to cast ballots on four proposed amendments to the state constitution. A summary of the questions follows: I. Overriding Vetoes
This proposed amendment would authorize special General Assembly sessions every year for the purpose of reconsidering measures vetoed by the governor. Gov. John N. Dalton has portrayed the plan as an expensive measure that would cost the taxpayers a minimum of $45,000 every year. Leaders of the predominately Democratic General Assembly, long frustrated by rules tying their hands on bills rejected after the legislative session ends, have lined up to support it.
"We need this because we have no way now to effectively exercise our legislative preogative to override a veto on almost 90 percent of our legislation," said Sen. Adelard Brault (D-Fairfax), the amendment's sponsor.
"This measure not only will give the General Assembly its full constitutional right to determine whether or not a bill becomes law, but it will result in the more efficient operaton of government."
Pat Jensen, president of the League of Women Voters, has called the veto proposal the "most important" constitutional revision presented to Virginia voters in a decade and said that it would make the legislature more responsive and representative.
Under present Virginia law, the Assmebly may overrided vetoes by a two-thirds vote of both houses only during regualr legislative sessions.
The governor is allowed seven days to consider a bill before signing or rejecting it. Legislators and observers have noted that many controversial measures are not decided until the last days of the legislative session, meaning the governor often acts on those bills after delegates and senators have gone home.
The proposed amdendment would allow the General Assembly to reconvene on the sixth Wednesday after each regular or special session to consider bills vetoed by the governor. The amendment would not permit the assembly to pass any new legislation during the override sessions. II. City and Town Borrowing
This amendment would reduce the amount of money that cities and towns may borrow in the form of long-term general obligation bonds.Currently, localities may borrow an amount equal to 18 per cent of their total assessed real estate value. The proposal, which supporters say is aimed at offsetting the recent market trend toward assessing property at full market value, would reduce that limit to 10 percent. III. Real Estate Tax Exemptions
This amendment would allow local governments to grant real estate tax exemptions to elderly and disable persons who live in mobile homes. Currently, those exemptions are granted only to owners of permanent residences, such as single family homes or townhouses. IV. Alternate Energy Sources
This amendment would permit local governments to grant tax exemptions to manufacturers who convert from oil and natural gas generating equipment to equipment that uses other sources of power, such as coal or solar power. Arlington
Improvement of Water Supply Lines:
Arlington voters are being asked to consider one local question.
The county is asking voters to approve a plan to use the remaining $6 million from a bond issue apporved three years ago to improve water supply lines in the county.
In the 1977 referendum, voters authorized the sale of $6.2 million in bonds to build additional water storage facilities. The proposal was designed to aid the county in short-term emergencies such as regional water shortages, breakdowns in the water supply system and periods when the Potomac River is low. The river is a main source of water for Arlington.
The first priority was to be the construction of a ground storage facility at the Lee Reservoir. Analyses since then by county staff members and consultants studying the county's water distribution system have indicated that problems with the water supply are most likely to occur in critical supply lines such as those leading from the Potomac.
The county recommends that those supply lines be repaired, instead of using the funds to build the additional storage facilities as planned.
Approval of the question will not add to the bonded indebtedness of Arlington County, according to county officials.
A simple majority is required for approvl. A "yes" vote approves the plan to repair the supply lines; a "no" vote rejects the proposal. Fairfax
Fairfax voters will be asked to decide on five bond issues totaling $63 million. This is the order in which they appear on the ballot. In all cases, a "yes" vote approves the sale of the bonds and "no" vote disapproves such a sale.
Neighborhood Imporvement Bonds: $12,330,000.
These bonds would provide money to older neighborhoods desiring to bring their streets, sidewalks, gutters, drains, streetlights land curbs up to the standards of new subdivisions. Under the plan, any improvements would require an assessed contribution by the residents, based on their ability to pay.
Storm Drainage Imporvement Bonds: $12,060,000.
These funds would be used to construct storm water detention ponds, flood protection walls, strom sewers and other devices to correct drainage problems and prevent further soil erosion around the county.
Public Safety Bonds: $19,700,000.
This proposal would allow the county to construct three new fire stations, a fire training facility and two new police stations. In addition, two facilities, the old courthouse and the vehicle maintenance garage which services county vehicles and school buses, would be renovated.
Adult Detention Center Bonds: $8,550,000.
This would finance renovation and enlargement of the present detention center which was constructed in 1978. The improvements would enable the county to incarcerate 398 inmates. The present detention center can accommodate 198.
Public Library Facilities Bonds: $10,430,000.
This bond issue would allow the county to build three new libraries in the western part of the county and to renovate the central library at 3915 Chain Bridge Road. Reston
Voters in Reston will be asked to decide whether their planned community should incorporate into a town, along the lines of Herndon and Vienna. If a majority of the voters cast "yes" votes, the town will hold local elections in May for a mayor and a six-member town council.
As a town, Reston would remain part of Fairfax County but would be given the power to levy and collect real estate and personal property taxes, provide refuse service, develop parks and recreation and an intra-town tranportation system.
The town question will appear on ballots in the following Reston precincts:
1, 2, 3, Terraset, South Lakes, Dogwood, Glade, Hunters Woods and Herndon 1. Not all area voters using those polling places will be allowed to vote on the town question. List of qualified voters will be provided on Election Day.