EVERY LITTLE BIT HELPS:
After Gov. L. Douglas Wilder's reluctance to release information about who gave money to his inaugural fund and how much was in the kitty, the House and Senate have each passed bills requiring that all future governors, lieutenant governors and attorneys general disclose such information. The House version of the bill would make it unlawful to spend the money on anything but inaugural festivities, and would require that any unspent money be given to the state's general fund. The bill would not apply to Wilder, who has about $1 million left from his inauguration and plans to spend it helping his in-state allies to win their elections.
BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU ASK FOR:
Local governments, hard pressed for cash, this year asked the General Assembly to relax expensive state mandates. Last week the House complied by giving localities an additional 18 months to bring municipal landfills in line with state environmental regulations. The House voted to push the deadline from July 1992 to January 1994, as requested, but then added an amendment: Any locality that fails to meet the new deadline would be liable for any cleanup or legal damages resulting from contaminated water. The bill returns to the Senate, where it was introduced.
ON THE MOVE:
A bill approved by both houses and sent to the governor for his signature permits the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority to condemn a half-acre, 50-grave cemetery on the edge of Dulles International Airport and move it to make way for future runways and sound barriers.
EXCHANGE OF THE WEEK:
While standing at the back of a committee room talking to a lobbyist, Del. George W. Grayson (D-Williamsburg) hollered in mock horror, "Help! Members of the press, I'm being lobbied!"
A local reporter at the front of the room replied, "Enjoy it! When you go home in two weeks, nobody will care about you!"
ALMOST DONE DEALS:
The House and Senate have approved similar bills that would prohibit Northern Virginians who pay franchise taxes on businesses they own in the District from deducting those taxes on their Virginia returns.
The change would save the state -- and cost Northern Virginia entrepreneurs -- about $28 million a year . . . . Other bills that have passed both houses with minor differences include one designating the Dulles Toll Road as the Omer L. Hirst-Adelard L. Brault Expressway -- after two former Northern Virginia legislators -- and another to allow nurse practitioners to prescribe certain drugs under the supervision of a doctor.
The final week of the General Assembly is the last opportunity for lawmakers to try to resuscitate dead bills through legislative sleights of hand. The most popular method is to find a bill being debated on the floor that is related to a dead one and simply tack on the dead one as an amendment. Del. David G. Brickley (D-Woodbridge) is hoping to do just that with elected school boards, which passed the House this year but was killed in a Senate committee. And Del. Leslie L. Byrne (D-Fairfax) has introduced an amendment that would revive a bill to allow developers who have paid for road improvements to get partly reimbursed by nearby property owners. The bill, killed in a House committee a few weeks ago, originally was introduced at the request of Bahman Batmanghelidj, developer of McNair Farms in Fairfax County.
Today is the final day for committees to act on legislation . . . . A public hearing on redistricting is scheduled before a joint meeting of the House and Senate committees on Privileges and Elections at 3 p.m. tomorrow in House Room D . . . . The six House and Senate budget conferees must agree on a compromise budget by midnight tomorrow . . . . Both houses are scheduled to vote on judgeships during Wednesday's sessions . . . . The final budget must be approved by the scheduled adjournment of the General Assembly on Saturday.
THE WILDER WATCH:
After a busy weekend, in which he narrated Aaron Copland's "Lincoln Portrait" with the Richmond Philharmonic yesterday afternoon and addressed the New York State Association of Black and Puerto Rican Legislators in Albany last night, Gov. L. Douglas Wilder will stay close to home for the final week of the legislative session. In addition to monitoring assembly actions, Wilder wrestles with whether to stop Friday night's scheduled execution of Joseph M. Giarratano, whose plea for a new trial has become a cause ce'le`bre of activists on both the political right and the political left.