In some Sunday editions, the district represented by State Sen. Edward M. Holland of Arlington was misstated. (Published 11/11/87)
RICHMOND -- With legislative contests settled for another two years and a lottery passed over the objections of the state's leading politicians, Virginia politicians can now turn their attention to two favorite pastimes: upcoming statewide elections, including a first-ever presidential primary in March, and a new budget cycle with plenty of money to compete for.
The biggest change in the General Assembly resulting from Tuesday's election will occur in the Senate. Although the Democrats will retain comfortable majorities in both the Senate (30-10, pending a recount) and the House of Delegates (65-34-1, pending recounts), the senior chamber is likely to be more moderate, and its 40 members -- all male this year -- will include three women and three blacks, both record numbers.
And with the defeat or retirement of three senior senators, there will be shuffling in the leadership. One of the biggest winners will be Sen. Edward M. Holland (D-Arlington), who is in line to become chairman of the Courts of Justice Committee.
The moderation -- none dare call it liberalization -- of the Senate results largely from the victories of senators-elect Emilie Miller of Fairfax and Yvonne Miller of Norfolk, the latter the first black woman elected to the upper chamber.
Fewer changes will occur in the House, where the pipe-smoking potentate, Speaker A.L. Philpott (D-Bassett), remains firmly in control. But even there, the princes-in-waiting are stirring.
Philpott's leading torch bearer, Del. Theodore V. Morrison Jr. (D-Newport News), chose not to seek reelection, allowing a would-be speaker, Del. C. Richard Cranwell (D-Vinton), to move into Morrison's spot as chairman of the House Finance Committee.
From there, Cranwell can keep an eye on House Majority Leader Thomas W. Moss Jr. (D-Norfolk), a likely rival for the speaker's post, should the 68-year-old Philpott choose to make his 15th two-year term his last.
Political junkies waiting for the next major campaign shot will not have long to wait: Former governor Charles S. Robb is expected to announce on Tuesday that he is prepared to seek the U.S. Senate seat being vacated next year by freshman Republican Paul S. Trible.
Some advisers think Robb, viewed as a shoo-in for the Senate now that Trible has backed off, can delay announcing a formal candidacy until after the Super Tuesday southern primaries next March, leaving the door open for a possible vice presidential invitation.
But George Stoddart, Robb's press-agent-in-waiting, said this week's announcement by his boss (Stoddart now handles public relations for the Richmond law firm of Hunton and Williams in which Robb is a Washington-based rainmaker) will go further than merely saying that he will allow an exploratory committee to be formed for fund raising.
Looking even further ahead, Trible apparently has become theAs always, it boils down to money. But in the 1988-90 budget cycle, there should be plenty
of it, with a projected $150 million surplus as a result of federal
tax changes and up
to $200 million a
year from the
GOP's most credible candidate for the 1989 race for governor.
A recent poll by the Richmond Times-Dispatch showed Trible easily beating either Attorney General Mary Sue Terry or Lt. Gov. L. Douglas Wilder, who are considered the leading contenders for the Democratic nomination.
The poll showed Robb would win the Senate seat in a laugher against any Republican challenger, including Rep. Stan Parris, former state attorney general J. Marshall Coleman, former secretary of state and presidential candidate Alexander M. Haig Jr., Virginia Beach evangelist Marion G. (Pat) Roberston and former Navy secretary John Lehman.
Already there is talk in Republican circles of a "dream ticket" for 1989 made up of Trible for governor, state Senator-Elect Edwina S. (Eddy) Dalton for lieutenant govenor and state Sen. Wiley F. Mitchell Jr. of Alexandria for attorney general. Never mind that Trible and Dalton are conservatives and that Mitchell is to the left of many state Democrats. "It's time for us to win," said one GOP operative.
As for next year, the legislature will get its first look in mid-January at a full biennial budget proposal by Gov. Gerald L. Baliles, who two years ago had to work within guidelines established by his predecessor Robb.
Unless the erratic stock market puts the crimp on consumer spending, and therefore on sales tax collections -- a scenario that Sen. Joseph V. Gartlan Jr. (D-Fairfax) sees as a possibility -- there should be plenty of money to spread around on pet projects.
Mental health is likely to be a priority, having been neglected in recent years in favor of education by Robb and transportation by Baliles.
Other issues include a recommendation from the Joint Legislative and Audit Review Commission to change the formula by which state funding of schools is distributed and Wilder's proposal to remove the sales tax on nonprescription drugs.
As always, it boils down to money. But in the 1988-90 budget cycle, there should be plenty of it, with a projected $150 million surplus as a result of federal tax changes and up to $200 million a year from the lottery. Some legislators, including most Republicans, think some of the good fortune should be returned to the taxpayers instead of spent on new or expanded programs.
And coming off the most expensive legislative elections in the state's history, campaign financing reform has been raised by Baliles. Both the Republican and Democratic state party chairmen are hesitant to limit spending, with the GOP seeing it as a way of perpetuating incumbents, most of whom are Democrats.
Although it will be at least a year before any proceeds from the newly authorized lottery are available for the state to spend, there is likely to be an effort to remove a restriction in the law -- adopted as a compromise to get the question on the ballot -- that prohibits all but informational advertising.
"It doesn't make any sense to try to hide the fact that you have a lottery," said Sen. Richard L. Saslaw (D-Fairfax), who was among the minority of legislators who actively worked for passage of the referendum.