Here are excerpts from the text of Virginia Gov. Gerald L. Baliles' inaugural address in Richmond yesterday:
Today we celebrate not merely the inauguration of a new administration, but the renewal of our association as a people which spans the centuries and memories of Virginia . . .
With pride in our people, who made the decision on election day, we stand at a happy passage in the life of this commonwealth. Douglas Wilder is more than our new lieutenant governor; Mary Sue Terry is more than our new attorney general. Their presence on this platform signifies and ratifies our long, sometimes painful, but morally imperative journey from the darkness of subjugation and discrimination into the sunlight of a fuller liberty . . . .
For that, we also owe a special debt of gratitude to my predecessor, whose rare combination of leadership and stewardship will rank him among our greatest governors. On behalf of all our citizens, let me express our admiration and affection for Gov. Charles S. Robb . . . .
Virginians rejected the call to retreat from public endeavor -- the counsel that involvement is ineffective and caring is futile. You declined the temptation to misuse conservatism as an excuse for indifference. Rather you certified that there are worthy purposes which should command the energy and effort of our whole commonwealth. You reaffirmed that government exists for more than cutting taxes and shunting aside problems.
We pledged to keep taxes down -- and we will . . . .
We can keep taxes down without holding people down.
We can control spending without sapping the spirit of change and progress.
We can contain the size of government without diminishing the scope of opportunity or the horizons of hope . . . .
We are a New Dominion . . . .
We will fully fund Standards of Quality in our public schools. We must seek and recruit the best teachers for our children. We will strengthen our colleges and universities, for the most important investment we can make is in the human capital of intellect and invention . . . .
Our laws must be shaped and enforced to preserve and protect the natural treasures of Virginia . . . .
The quality of life also includes the safety of our streets and the security of our homes. We will not allow law-abiding Virginians to be held hostage to fear -- prisoners in their own homes. We will seek to strengthen every aspect of law enforcement . . . . The laws that are made are to be obeyed . . . .
But there is an even higher law that will reflect our society; the New Dominion will be based on a mutual pledge to each other of respect of common purpose and compassion.
Today, more than ever before in our history, we truly are one people. We are strong enough to help the weak. We shall never exile them to an invisible corner, or treat them as scapegoats. We must not perpetuate their dependence; but we can and will help them to work for and win their economic independence.
The New Dominion will lead in economic development, for it is the greatest and most powerful social program we can ever have . . . .
George Bernard Shaw wrote, "The greatest of evils and the worst of crimes is poverty." It is essential that Virginia enjoy a vigorous, growing economy. Only through economic prosperity can we hope to maintain and improve the quality of life for all Virginians . . . .
The New Dominion will lead in transportation; it must, for we no longer have a choice. Transportation is now the vital link in our chain of progress; it is the challenge of our time for which there have been no simple solutions. And so we must dare to be different, to reach out for creative change and produce an integrated approach to the problems of public transportation, highways and roads, our air, water and rail systems. In the New Dominion we must plan for and invest in transportation systems. It is the roadway to the future . . . .
My fellow Virginians, we are free from old stereotypes, and from the fearful prejudice which once paralyzed our progress. All of us who take the oath of statewide office today were children and students in the Virginia of the 1950s. We had no part in shaping that divisive and often bitter time; we do not look backward in anger, but forward in hope. We welcome the exciting demands of leadership in the 1980s; we are ready -- even eager -- for the journey that will take us to the New Dominion . . . .
Our choices may not always be popular, but we will always try to make them right.
Our guiding star shall be that bright constellation of which Jefferson wrote as he left public office for the last time: "The care of human life and happiness . . . is the first and only legitimate object of government."
With the blessing of the God who gave us life, we now embark anew on the happy task.