thumbnail of Assembly Week; No. 702
Hide -
<v Chris Dickon>Here at the Virginia General Assembly in Richmond, it's the beginning of year five of <v Chris Dickon>trying to reconcile revenues and expenditures. <v Chris Dickon>We've got a new governor, but we've got the same old problem, the budget. <v Chris Dickon>On this edition of Assembly Week. [music plays] <v Chris Dickon>Welcome to Assembly Week from the Old City Hall building on Capital Square. <v Chris Dickon>I'm Chris Dickon. We've all been affected in one way or another by the budget adjustments <v Chris Dickon>of the last four years. Governor Douglas Wilder left office with general applause
<v Chris Dickon>for the way he navigated through tough times leadership from the legislative side <v Chris Dickon>during that time came from Senate Majority Leader and Finance Committee Chairman Hunter <v Chris Dickon>Andrews and from House Majority Leader and Finance Committee Chairman Dick Cranwell. <v Chris Dickon>Democratic governor Wilder's Secretary of finance was Paul Temmreck. <v Chris Dickon>When Republican George Allen was elected, he asked secretary Temmreck to <v Chris Dickon>stay on. Secretary Temmreck, I don't think people are as surprised <v Chris Dickon>that you were held over from a Democrat or Republican governor as they are curious about <v Chris Dickon>what it portends. Are you charged with staying the course of the last <v Chris Dickon>four years or with making small course corrections or perhaps taking some abrupt <v Chris Dickon>right terms? What does it mean? <v Paul Timmreck>I'm charged with helping Governor Allen and his team achieve their objectives. <v Paul Timmreck>Essentially going around has made it very, very clear that he wants to carry out a <v Paul Timmreck>fundamental reexamination of the way state government operates. <v Paul Timmreck>He wants to hold costs down. <v Paul Timmreck>He will not support increases in sales and income taxes. <v Paul Timmreck>So I'm there, too, to help them achieve his objectives.
<v Chris Dickon>Does it mean, though, that his objectives are basically a continuation of the last <v Chris Dickon>governor's objectives, or is that reading too much into. <v Paul Timmreck>Well, I don't. I wouldn't go that far. <v Paul Timmreck>What I would say is that I think Virginia has had a longstanding reputation for <v Paul Timmreck>fiscal prudence, fiscal conservative conservatism. <v Paul Timmreck>Governor Allen will maintain that that tradition and that in Virginia, <v Paul Timmreck>in practice, I think he is going to be looking for ways of freeing up <v Paul Timmreck>money so that he can move his priorities, particularly as it relates to the <v Paul Timmreck>abolition of parole and things of that nature. <v Paul Timmreck>So indeed, I expect some changes. <v Chris Dickon>Senator Andrews, when the Democrat, both the governor's office and <v Chris Dickon>the legislature together, they still didn't move with. <v Chris Dickon>Through this process, do you see more or less stress and strain between <v Chris Dickon>the legislative and the executive branch? <v Sen. Hunter Andrews>Well, I think we plan on cooperating with the executive branch. <v Sen. Hunter Andrews>We really don't know his programs yet. <v Sen. Hunter Andrews>Budget viewpoint we have we don't have the details on his program, but it's certainly our
<v Sen. Hunter Andrews>intention to cooperate as far as the budget's concerned and other things. <v Chris Dickon>That's always easily and nicely said at the beginning of this session. <v Chris Dickon>Is there going to be because we have this this different situation than we've had in <v Chris Dickon>the last 12 years? <v Sen. Hunter Andrews>I've served under three Republican governor and Mr. Cranwell has served with Republican <v Sen. Hunter Andrews>governors. And sometimes it's easier with Republican governors and <v Sen. Hunter Andrews>some of them without that party. <v Chris Dickon>You agree? <v Del. Richard Cranwell>I think that the legislative process, as I viewed it in the 20 <v Del. Richard Cranwell>years that I've been here, really doesn't break down along partisan lines. <v Del. Richard Cranwell>It's usually a struggle between city versus county or the <v Del. Richard Cranwell>highly populated areas versus the rural areas or business versus <v Del. Richard Cranwell>labor or the wealthy areas versus the poorer areas. <v Del. Richard Cranwell>I can't think of any issues that really break down along partisan votes. <v Del. Richard Cranwell>And, you know, I was here with with Leon Hulton Mills Godwin.
<v Del. Richard Cranwell>John Dalton worked with all of them. <v Del. Richard Cranwell>And I don't anticipate this being any different unless the incoming <v Del. Richard Cranwell>administration and the people in the administration react differently. <v Del. Richard Cranwell>And as long as that doesn't happen, I would expect it's going to be business pretty <v Del. Richard Cranwell>much as usual as it's been in terms of everybody sitting down and identifying what the <v Del. Richard Cranwell>priorities for the state are and folks-. <v Sen. Hunter Andrews>I'd like to follow up on what Dickie is saying. <v Sen. Hunter Andrews>I have said many times on the floor and elsewhere, 90 percent of what we do is not <v Sen. Hunter Andrews>Partisan unless you make it pass. <v Sen. Hunter Andrews>Now, if you want to make it Partisan and there are certain things will happen, and I <v Sen. Hunter Andrews>trust that neither one of us want to make something Partisan. <v Sen. Hunter Andrews>But if the other side makes something Partisan, we a perfectly capable of handling <v Sen. Hunter Andrews>that situation. We've been around a while. <v Paul Timmreck>The responses of these two gentlemen explains why in a number of occasions I've said <v Paul Timmreck>that we're not for the fact that I'm in Virginia. <v Paul Timmreck>I wouldn't be in this business. <v Paul Timmreck>Virginia's legislature and its governors have shown a way of making government work
<v Paul Timmreck>for the benefit of the people. <v Paul Timmreck>We don't have problems getting the budget balanced on time. <v Paul Timmreck>We don't have the kind of gridlock that you have in other states. <v Paul Timmreck>And, you know, irrespective of what party is in office, things do do get done and <v Paul Timmreck>progress gets made. So I'm very much looking forward to continuing to work with Senator <v Paul Timmreck>Andrews, and [unclear] <v Chris Dickon>What is the financial condition of the state right now relative to the last <v Chris Dickon>four years? Everybody thinks that things are getting a little bit better. <v Chris Dickon>A recession is easing somewhat. Where are we what do you think? <v Paul Timmreck>I think you have to differentiate between financial condition of the state in this and <v Paul Timmreck>the state's image. I think we've gotten very, very high marks in terms of what the <v Paul Timmreck>governor, the General Assembly have done to manage the budget and to deal with the policy <v Paul Timmreck>issues. But I think when you talk about the economy, for me, the single best example <v Paul Timmreck>of where Virginia's economy is relates to something that the Virginia Employment <v Paul Timmreck>Commission told us just a week or so ago. <v Paul Timmreck>And that is not until December of 93 that our economy, our state <v Paul Timmreck>of economy get to a point where it had once again, all the jobs that have
<v Paul Timmreck>had in March of 1990 when the recession began. <v Paul Timmreck>In other words, March of 1990, the county went off the cliff. <v Paul Timmreck>We lost 90000 jobs. It's taken that long to get those jobs back. <v Paul Timmreck>So in terms of job growth, we've been treading water for three years. <v Chris Dickon>This jobs of the same quality in terms of salary. <v Chris Dickon>I imagine there are different industries and occupations. <v Chris Dickon>And they were-. <v Paul Timmreck>They are they are somewhat different. But also, don't forget that some businesses are <v Paul Timmreck>looking for new lines of work and they're able to take what they used to be involved <v Paul Timmreck>in with defense, for example, and redirect that into civilian types of endeavors <v Paul Timmreck>and civilian enterprises. <v Del. Richard Cranwell>My guess would be the vast bulk of those jobs are are all within <v Del. Richard Cranwell>the same sector, I think. Paul, what was 52000 of the jobs were lost in the construction <v Del. Richard Cranwell>sector? <v Paul Timmreck>That's about right. <v Del. Richard Cranwell>So I suspect that you're seeing a substantial increase in the employment in the <v Del. Richard Cranwell>construction sector. So my guess would be that that you're picking up a lot of the same <v Del. Richard Cranwell>jobs that were lost because people ratchet back in the construction industry.
<v Sen. Hunter Andrews>Chris, I think we've got to remember, we believe the economy is starting <v Sen. Hunter Andrews>to turn around, but the 90s are not going to be the go go like the 80s. <v Sen. Hunter Andrews>And our gains are percentage wise off our lower base. <v Sen. Hunter Andrews>So we've got some real problems in the 90s to meet the needs. <v Sen. Hunter Andrews>I think we have to do defense cutbacks. <v Sen. Hunter Andrews>All of that. <v Paul Timmreck>Half speed growth Chris. In the 80s are average. <v Paul Timmreck>Annual increase in jobs was over four percent. <v Paul Timmreck>Now, you know, the official forecast is two percent each year. <v Paul Timmreck>So it's half speed growth and that means half speed revenue growth from the budget. <v Del. Richard Cranwell>Well we were averaging one anywhere from 9 to 11 percent. <v Paul Timmreck>We exceeded the nation. <v Del. Richard Cranwell>Sure. And they're going to be- <v Chris Dickon>What's it what's the gap that the assembly will be dealing with this session between <v Chris Dickon>revenues and expenditures? <v Chris Dickon>I mean, we always say-. <v Sen. Hunter Andrews>Well, I think when we examine Governor Allan's amendments, we can better answer <v Sen. Hunter Andrews>that question. We simply have not had time to examine those amendments. <v Sen. Hunter Andrews>And that casts a lot of light on what we have to do. <v Sen. Hunter Andrews>But but the budget is introduced had no gap it was perfectly in balance.
<v Sen. Hunter Andrews>I mean, that was all eliminated because we had 206 million dollars worth of agency budget <v Sen. Hunter Andrews>cuts. <v Chris Dickon>OK. Let's get to some specifics. <v Chris Dickon>Delegate Cranwell, the assembly has created a commission on equity and public education, <v Chris Dickon>which is the subject we could practically roll reroll a tape of discussions <v Chris Dickon>that we've had over the last four or five years about equity and education with you. <v Chris Dickon>It's one of your subjects. The disparity issue and all that kind of stuff. <v Chris Dickon>There is a move afoot to create lower class sizes for <v Chris Dickon>children to make better uses of educational technology to deal <v Chris Dickon>with this disparity issue between rural and urban in various urban school districts <v Chris Dickon>and how much it is. <v Del. Richard Cranwell>Well, it's really it's really between urban and rural and suburbia. <v Del. Richard Cranwell>The urban cores and the role for rural areas have a great <v Del. Richard Cranwell>deal in common. When you get to talking about the disproportionate spending. <v Del. Richard Cranwell>But Hunter is all in the study with me. <v Del. Richard Cranwell>And we've come out with a with four point recommendations that I think <v Del. Richard Cranwell>are going to go a long way toward not only dealing with the problem that you're
<v Del. Richard Cranwell>mentioning, but I think we're all going to have an impact on the quality of education. <v Del. Richard Cranwell>And I think down the road ten or twelve years out is going to have some benefit <v Del. Richard Cranwell>to us in terms of socially impact on on crime rate. <v Sen. Hunter Andrews>I agree with Dickie. I think when we're in agreement, we're waiting to implement the plan <v Sen. Hunter Andrews>with modern techniques of computers. <v Sen. Hunter Andrews>We can identify the actual schools where you have high percentages <v Sen. Hunter Andrews>of poverty. And we believe that poverty is best measured by <v Sen. Hunter Andrews>the free lunch program. <v Sen. Hunter Andrews>And we know that that is the most audited of the programs by the federal government. <v Sen. Hunter Andrews>And if we can zero in in these schools and help them reduce the teacher people ratio <v Sen. Hunter Andrews>and we agree, what we gonna try to do that also the at-risk four year olds. <v Sen. Hunter Andrews>But as Dickie pointed out, it is so important we have to stay the course. <v Sen. Hunter Andrews>This is a fundamental, basic change. It would help young people 10 years down the road. <v Sen. Hunter Andrews>But we've got to be willing to stay the course. <v Sen. Hunter Andrews>But we are such an impatient people.
<v Sen. Hunter Andrews>We expect results overnight. <v Chris Dickon>I've read a figure cost figure for beginning to do this over one hundred billion dollars <v Chris Dickon>in these tight times. Is that money there or is it? <v Chris Dickon>Is it blood out of a turnip? <v Del. Richard Cranwell>There you go. I think you know what Hunter said earlier on. <v Del. Richard Cranwell>The budget, as always, goes through a process. <v Del. Richard Cranwell>Paul will tell you. <v Del. Richard Cranwell>And it's going to be substantially different than what it is has introduced, but <v Del. Richard Cranwell>it's going to be substantially similar, if you can understand what I was saying. <v Del. Richard Cranwell>And I hope that in the process of working the budget through that, we can come up with <v Del. Richard Cranwell>the money to start the process, because I think what. <v Del. Richard Cranwell>Again, I think I agree on this. <v Del. Richard Cranwell>And I think the single most significant thing you can do in terms of improving <v Del. Richard Cranwell>the quality of education is to lower the pupil teacher ratio and earn a grade. <v Del. Richard Cranwell>And what this is designed to do is it reduces pupil teacher ratio in all schools. <v Del. Richard Cranwell>But in the at risk schools, you get down to two immediately to one to 18
<v Del. Richard Cranwell>people, teacher ratio. And we're shooting for the year 2000 to have it down to 116. <v Del. Richard Cranwell>That my assessment is, if we can do that, he's going to have a tremendous impact <v Del. Richard Cranwell>on those students ability to compete in the education system. <v Del. Richard Cranwell>But I also think the at risk program for all four year olds <v Del. Richard Cranwell>is going to have a significant impact on what I call anti-social conduct, <v Del. Richard Cranwell>which is the envelope of the at risk problem. <v Sen. Hunter Andrews>What if you say this. At 17 hundred elementary school in Virgina. <v Sen. Hunter Andrews>We know five hundred of these have the high percentage of poverty and they're <v Sen. Hunter Andrews>all over some in Fairfax County. <v Sen. Hunter Andrews>So we really getting right to the meat andthe coconut of the rural areas and the core <v Sen. Hunter Andrews>cities and helping kids and Dicki and I are in agreement. <v Sen. Hunter Andrews>And I hope we can carry forward and get to support and implement it. <v Sen. Hunter Andrews>And we certainly hope governer Allen and comes on board. <v Chris Dickon>Where is Governor in all of this? <v Paul Timmreck>I haven't really been part of the discussions between Senator Andrews and Delegate <v Paul Timmreck>Cranwell about this. But, you know, a program like elementary or secondary education,
<v Paul Timmreck>which is 35 percent of the budget. There's no way you can say that's not a priority of <v Paul Timmreck>any governor in Virginia. So I'm sure he'll be very much interested in what they have to <v Paul Timmreck>say. <v Chris Dickon>Okay. Higher education. David Cranwell, you recently said that <v Chris Dickon>you didn't think education could take any more cuts in order for us to stay competitive. <v Chris Dickon>It seems that we've gotten to a point with higher education that we're going to create <v Chris Dickon>some formulas, criteria for performance and efficiency in some <v Chris Dickon>university. We'll get more money than the others, where are we with all of this? <v Chris Dickon>Is there more? <v Del. Richard Cranwell>Well, I listen to the president. <v Del. Richard Cranwell>The new president, V.P. this morning at a breakfast. <v Del. Richard Cranwell>And the one thing he went through is the things that are doing to VPI <v Del. Richard Cranwell>to streamline the operation if they've already cut a half million dollars out of <v Del. Richard Cranwell>administrative salaries. <v Del. Richard Cranwell>And they're fixing to push that all the way down through into the construction <v Del. Richard Cranwell>level. And I commend them all that effort. <v Del. Richard Cranwell>Paul Torgerson, who is President of VPI, is going back to Blacksburg Mackle.
<v Del. Richard Cranwell>He teaching a course and he'll be teaching to more. <v Del. Richard Cranwell>I commend all of those efforts. But this is a thing that I told you as I was leaving. <v Del. Richard Cranwell>I agree that we have to get the bang for the buck in higher education. <v Del. Richard Cranwell>But now is not the time. <v Del. Richard Cranwell>And America is not a place for us to start understanding the <v Del. Richard Cranwell>cost of higher education and not understanding the value of it. <v Del. Richard Cranwell>We have all the best education systems in the world at the college level, <v Del. Richard Cranwell>and it is it has allowed us to maintain the ability to compete worldwide <v Del. Richard Cranwell>if we start ratcheting that back too much. <v Del. Richard Cranwell>All we're doing is changing the face of America and its competitive position in the <v Del. Richard Cranwell>world. <v Del. Richard Cranwell>And I quite frankly, I know Paul and I may differ on this, <v Del. Richard Cranwell>but I think the cuts have gone too far. <v Del. Richard Cranwell>And I hope that in the budget process we can soften the impacts. <v Sen. Hunter Andrews>I couldn't agree with him more. <v Sen. Hunter Andrews>We have cut percentages for higher education from 16
<v Sen. Hunter Andrews>percent of the general fund to twelve. At the same time, North Carolina is increasing <v Sen. Hunter Andrews>theirs. We have the highest tuition rate of any state in the nation except <v Sen. Hunter Andrews>Vermont. Our contributions per student, we rank with Arkansas, <v Sen. Hunter Andrews>Mississippi and West Virginia eight. <v Sen. Hunter Andrews>And I think we in a better category, I think we have a fine higher education system. <v Sen. Hunter Andrews>You can improve, but you cannot continue to cut that and cut back. <v Sen. Hunter Andrews>Now, I think some of the schools having to do the horn properly, <v Sen. Hunter Andrews>some of the schools have done a good job in tooting the horn and they got the attention <v Sen. Hunter Andrews>of their going administration. But there are three or four schools that have done <v Sen. Hunter Andrews>important things of ratcheting things around, but they're getting penalized for it. <v Sen. Hunter Andrews>And I hope we can correct that. <v Chris Dickon>Questions are on the floor whether you and the governor have the same sentiments. <v Paul Timmreck>Well, we do have the same sentiments. <v Paul Timmreck>I think I know the governor is going to be speaking to higher education when he unveils <v Paul Timmreck>his budget amendments very shortly. He did talk about them last Monday evening
<v Paul Timmreck>during the state of the Commonwealth address on the issue of higher education. <v Paul Timmreck>I would simply remind everybody that when you take higher education and 15 percent of the <v Paul Timmreck>budget in elementary and secondary at 35, you already have about half the budget- <v Del. Richard Cranwell>I think it's 12 percent isn't it? <v Del. Richard Cranwell>[arguing] <v Sen. Hunter Andrews>Yes, I know. Yeah. <v Sen. Hunter Andrews>used to be fifteen. <v Paul Timmreck>That is when we have in the past when we have exempted things like Medicaid from the cuts <v Paul Timmreck>and we've exempted elementary and secondary education. <v Paul Timmreck>There's not a whole lot left, you know, in terms of trying to balance the budget. <v Paul Timmreck>So I think that the higher education area continues to be a challenge. <v Paul Timmreck>The schools can do more to restructure and to be more efficient. <v Paul Timmreck>There's no question about that. Southern, some of them have done more than others. <v Sen. Hunter Andrews>Well, that's a relative term. It depends on how we will get into this. <v Sen. Hunter Andrews>I understand your party line, but we also Governor Allen has recommended <v Sen. Hunter Andrews>the increase in tuition should not exceed inflation, which means that you've got to come <v Sen. Hunter Andrews>up with the money. <v Paul Timmreck>On 1920-. <v Sen. Hunter Andrews>And I'm quite sure that you will find that money.
<v Sen. Hunter Andrews>And if that happens and we'll have harmony for a momment. <v Del. Richard Cranwell>I thought all the extra money was gonna go into a trust fund for retirees. <v Paul Timmreck>No, the governor said on Monday evening that he wanted to cap the tuition <v Paul Timmreck>at three and three point one percent in two years. <v Paul Timmreck>And so that's why-. <v Sen. Hunter Andrews>That's 19 million- <v Paul Timmreck>That's 19 million dollars. That's right. General fund money. <v Chris Dickon>Senatot Andrews-. <v Paul Timmreck>Good news for the taxpayers. <v Chris Dickon>You're beginning to sound like some of the people who attend the state hearings that you <v Chris Dickon>conduct across the state for the last three years before the general simply asking people <v Chris Dickon>to come and say what they want from the state and how it ought to be paid for. <v Chris Dickon>And for the third time in a row, you heard people say we can't take any more cuts in <v Chris Dickon>human services and mental health and arts and libraries and education. <v Chris Dickon>And we ought to pay more taxes in order to pay for these things that there's that <v Chris Dickon>sentiment coming from the people who also want to see that money come back. <v Chris Dickon>How is all of that cranked into the process? <v Sen. Hunter Andrews>Well, it's very important. <v Sen. Hunter Andrews>We think that public hearings have been very beneficial.
<v Sen. Hunter Andrews>It gives the people an opportunity to express themselves. <v Sen. Hunter Andrews>We listened to over 500 and some speakers and many <v Sen. Hunter Andrews>people come there espousing thier cause. <v Sen. Hunter Andrews>But that's democracy and that's right. <v Sen. Hunter Andrews>But you get a kind of insight into what the main issues are. <v Sen. Hunter Andrews>I said my name. You know, it is the usual thing. <v Sen. Hunter Andrews>Don't take from me, don't take from the take from the man behind the tree. <v Sen. Hunter Andrews>And one of the gentlemen said, well, there's a man behind the tree over that. <v Sen. Hunter Andrews>You take me and that we take Medicaid. <v Sen. Hunter Andrews>Well, of course, you can't do that. <v Sen. Hunter Andrews>But we think it's been beneficial. At some point, you got to bite the bullet and the <v Sen. Hunter Andrews>secretary is certainly bitten the bullet. Now he's going to bite a nineteen hundred <v Sen. Hunter Andrews>nineteen million shortfall on this and we gonna open up Mecklenburg Prison. <v Sen. Hunter Andrews>What's that? 14 million you've got to find that. <v Paul Timmreck>Over two years it'll be 15. <v Chris Dickon>Delegate Cranwell the difference between the Finance Committee in the Senate is that <v Chris Dickon>you're concerned with both revenue and spending and <v Chris Dickon>gathering money. right.
<v Chris Dickon>The Finance Committee of the House is mainly concerned with the revenue side. <v Chris Dickon>How do you get the money? <v Del. Richard Cranwell>We're, we're yeah- <v Del. Richard Cranwell>In terms in terms of a balance sheet, if you turn in liabilities versus assets <v Del. Richard Cranwell>were in the liabilities. <v Del. Richard Cranwell>But I mean-. <v Sen. Hunter Andrews>He's being very modest, he's no liability. <v Sen. Hunter Andrews>He has muscle. <v Del. Richard Cranwell>We're all on the liability side, I can tell you that right now. <v Chris Dickon>But in this in this no new taxes mode that we're in. <v Chris Dickon>Is there a lot of work for that for the House financial committe? <v Del. Richard Cranwell>Well. I'd like to get that in perspective. <v Del. Richard Cranwell>I really don't think we're in a no new tax mode. <v Del. Richard Cranwell>You know, we have increased income tax one time in 42 years in Virginia <v Del. Richard Cranwell>and we have increased the sales tax one time in 30 years. <v Del. Richard Cranwell>So I don't think there's any major risk <v Del. Richard Cranwell>out here floating around there's going to be any increases in income tax or the sales <v Del. Richard Cranwell>tax. <v Del. Richard Cranwell>So I don't think that that that has
<v Del. Richard Cranwell>been any history in Virginia of excessive <v Del. Richard Cranwell>taxation, We rank, what, forty fifth in the country? <v Paul Timmreck>[unclear] We've always ranked low. <v Del. Richard Cranwell>That's what counts. <v Sen. Hunter Andrews>The last increase in the income tax was another demonstration of my Republican friend, <v Sen. Hunter Andrews>Governor Holton, when we increased in 1972. <v Paul Timmreck>One quarter of one percent. <v Chris Dickon>Here's a proposed tax. The the the highway people say <v Chris Dickon>that between now and the year 2010, we're going to need 52 billion dollars <v Chris Dickon>in spending just to keep our highways up to speed. <v Chris Dickon>Thirty four percent of the bridges in the state right now are deficient, according to the <v Chris Dickon>federal highway Administration. <v Chris Dickon>The Virginia Association of County for one, is talking about an increased <v Chris Dickon>fuel tax of maybe five cents a gallon. <v Chris Dickon>We have very low fuel tax, relatively speaking, in this state. <v Chris Dickon>I think we've already heard that something like that will not be considered in this <v Chris Dickon>session. <v Sen. Hunter Andrews>He said not in this session. Right.
<v Sen. Hunter Andrews>But we have just completed a two year legislative study of <v Sen. Hunter Andrews>the highway needs and is matter of fact, the report just been out. <v Sen. Hunter Andrews>And I certainly hope the new administration keeps an open mind on the subject because <v Sen. Hunter Andrews>we've gone too far back to the very situation we had in Virginia in the early 80s, <v Sen. Hunter Andrews>where the maintenance costs of skyrocketing and new construction <v Sen. Hunter Andrews>moneys are not. Their cars are becoming more efficient and the use of gasoline <v Sen. Hunter Andrews>is decreasing relative to the car. <v Sen. Hunter Andrews>Yet the number of registrations are going up and we don't want to get to the point <v Sen. Hunter Andrews>that we did in the 80s. <v Sen. Hunter Andrews>This is my personal opinion, where we slow up construction, the construction <v Sen. Hunter Andrews>industry slows down. Jobs are lost. <v Sen. Hunter Andrews>And then in 1986, when we cranked it up, we had a time delay <v Sen. Hunter Andrews>in industry cranking up things. <v Sen. Hunter Andrews>And that's an economic stimulus. We have the lowest gasoline tax of any of our <v Sen. Hunter Andrews>surrounding states, six some percent in North Carolina, seven cents under
<v Sen. Hunter Andrews>Maryland at some point. <v Sen. Hunter Andrews>We are gonna have to find the funds to do it. <v Sen. Hunter Andrews>And I'm hoping and I'm confident that the new administration, when <v Sen. Hunter Andrews>they have time to reflect on the matters, that we can cooperate and solve it. <v Chris Dickon>Timmreck, is this a matter of making decisions about when <v Chris Dickon>falling behind on something might cause you to have to add <v Chris Dickon>more to get back up to speed than you would otherwise if things get too bad? <v Paul Timmreck>No, I don't. Chris, I don't think this will affect the governor's decision making at this <v Paul Timmreck>point. I think the issue for him is that he wants to go into the six year plans. <v Paul Timmreck>He wants to look at the projects that have been approved. <v Paul Timmreck>He wants to basically assure himself and others that every one of <v Paul Timmreck>those projects is absolutely essential, that there aren't more economical ways to address <v Paul Timmreck>those transportation needs. And I think, you know, once you get over that hurdle, the <v Paul Timmreck>governor's already indicated that he's not no forever to-. <v Sen. Hunter Andrews>No he has not. And I think he's entitled to have more time. <v Sen. Hunter Andrews>I don't think the door was shut. And I agree with Delegate Cranwell. <v Sen. Hunter Andrews>He said he's not favor of increasing income and sales tax, but there are a lot of other
<v Sen. Hunter Andrews>ways to raise revenue like exemptions from sales tax. <v Sen. Hunter Andrews>We've got the largest number exemptions from our sales in any state in the nation. <v Chris Dickon>Do you think- <v Sen. Hunter Andrews>[unclear] to this to that. <v Del. Richard Cranwell>We've got the lowest per capita sales tax rate, second lowest per capita sales tax rate <v Del. Richard Cranwell>in the country in terms of revenue collected per capita from sales tax. <v Chris Dickon>Well, one of the goals of the state is economic development. <v Chris Dickon>The governor said he would like to create one hundred twenty five thousand new jobs in <v Chris Dickon>the next four years of his term. <v Chris Dickon>Well, when you're looking at economic development through things like the discussion <v Chris Dickon>we've just had about education and highways come into that. <v Chris Dickon>The argument seems to be if we raise taxes, business will stay away. <v Chris Dickon>But another part of the argument is, if the roads aren't good, schools aren't good, <v Chris Dickon>business will stay away. <v Sen. Hunter Andrews>Well, I go ahead. <v Paul Timmreck>I mean, there are all kinds of studies about taxes and what not. <v Paul Timmreck>I think what's really important to a prospective business is the stability of the <v Paul Timmreck>climate, the predictability of the climate, the absence of any kind of anti or <v Paul Timmreck>punitive attitude toward the business community.
<v Paul Timmreck>When discussions were held with Disney, it was very clear to us that they really did <v Paul Timmreck>find a lot of attraction in the fact that Virginia had not increased those income taxes <v Paul Timmreck>since 1972. <v Chris Dickon>And you brought up Disney as we speak on Thursday after, this Disney day here <v Chris Dickon>in Richmond and people coming to talk about that. <v Chris Dickon>Those who oppose the Disney Disneyland in Northern Virginia say it could cost the state <v Chris Dickon>as much as two hundred million dollars for roads and highways and that kind <v Chris Dickon>of the infrastructure that's viewed to support it. <v Chris Dickon>I know the Governor Allen is very supportive of the Disney project. <v Chris Dickon>What do you think is that is the real potential cost of state. <v Paul Timmreck>The real cost, the real costs that are tied directly to the impact of Disney. <v Paul Timmreck>Disney itself, apart from all the other transportation improvements that are <v Paul Timmreck>already approved for that area up there, would total seventy eight point nine million <v Paul Timmreck>dollars. That's a far cry from two hundred million dollars. <v Paul Timmreck>And the other figures that you've heard about. <v Paul Timmreck>And that's a combination of transportation improvements, as well as certain operating
<v Paul Timmreck>improvements that many of which will benefit all of Virginia in terms of tourism <v Paul Timmreck>promotion. <v Chris Dickon>What do you think is the sense of the assembly on this? <v Sen. Hunter Andrews>Well, we haven't received the package. <v Sen. Hunter Andrews>We just had a briefing today, dog and pony show, you know, with <v Sen. Hunter Andrews>which is fine. It was very informative when the bills <v Sen. Hunter Andrews>are in and we will proceed. <v Sen. Hunter Andrews>And I guess I think they wanted acted on that in this session. <v Sen. Hunter Andrews>Am I correct, Paul? <v Paul Timmreck>Yes, absolutely. <v Sen. Hunter Andrews>So I hope they put the bills in shortly. <v Del. Richard Cranwell>It's like ask in' me if I like a book before I read it, I have to read it first and then. <v Chris Dickon>OK. Finally, in the meantime, there is a 500 million dollar gorilla sitting in the room, <v Chris Dickon>and that's the case with the federal pensioners. <v Chris Dickon>It's difficult to get a fix on what people think ought to be done or that should we wait <v Chris Dickon>until all the court things are. <v Sen. Hunter Andrews>Well, <v Chris Dickon>We wish we'd be. <v Sen. Hunter Andrews>Well, it's not what we think Governer Allen said he's going to proceed to settle the <v Sen. Hunter Andrews>case. And I assume when he reaches what he thinks is a proper <v Sen. Hunter Andrews>settlement, then he will come to us for the money and make proposals on where to get the
<v Sen. Hunter Andrews>money. <v Paul Timmreck>And in the meantime, Governor Allen has also said that he would like to basically propose <v Paul Timmreck>the establishment of a down payment on a reserve fund, which would be the source <v Paul Timmreck>of money for those payments. <v Chris Dickon>So are we looking at negotiation for this? <v Sen. Hunter Andrews>But is not in the hands of the gentleman is the point I'm trying to make-. <v Paul Timmreck> Exactly. He's instructed the attorney general basically to enter into those <v Paul Timmreck>negotiations. On the [unclear] case. <v Sen. Hunter Andrews>On the other side, you know, we won every phase of this case in court ever since <v Sen. Hunter Andrews>we've been in this for over four years, but now it's been taken away from us. <v Sen. Hunter Andrews>But I do think it will probably come back to us for money. <v Paul Timmreck>Because the governer perspective is it's not whether you want or not in court. <v Paul Timmreck>It's what's what's right to do beyond the <v Paul Timmreck>court decisions. And the governor believes that they were wrong that the federal <v Paul Timmreck>pensioners, both civilian or military pensioners were wronged in that in that case. <v Paul Timmreck>So he thinks the right thing to do is to enter negotiations, to arrive at a mutually <v Paul Timmreck>satisfactory-. <v Sen. Hunter Andrews>And he will tell us where to find the money. <v Paul Timmreck>Yes, sir.
Assembly Week
Episode Number
No. 702
Producing Organization
WHRO (Television station : Norfolk, Va.)
Contributing Organization
The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia (Athens, Georgia)
If you have more information about this item than what is given here, or if you have concerns about this record, we want to know! Contact us, indicating the AAPB ID (cpb-aacip-526-251fj2b967).
Episode Description
This segment of Assembly Week features an interview hosted by Chris Dickon, where Secretary Paul Timmreck, Senator Hunter Andrews, and Delegate Cranwell discuss Virginia's new governor, and his possible policies and programs regarding education, poverty, and the budget.
Series Description
"Our entry in Category 7 illustrates a body of work achieved in 1994 which we feel exemplifies meritorious service to the community. Building on our 33 year history of education and public service, we are utilizing the latest technologies to provide community-wide outreach and access to education, information and culture. In addition to the 230,000 households that watch our TV stations, the 140,000 radio listeners and the more than 200,000 students and the 17,000 teachers who use our educational TV services weekly, WHRO helps geographically disadvantaged nurses on the eastern shore earn college degrees, brings daily newspapers via audio to the print handicapped, operates a higher educational channel by [microwave] links, allows students and educators daily access to the internet via our Learning Link, and sends staff members for personal appearances in classrooms, civic meetings and concert appearances. Colleagues and Community leaders view WHRO as a model public telecommunications center for the 21st century. Please find enclosed notebooks on (1) a General WHRO Overview (2) Educational achievements (3) Informational achievements and (4) Cultural achievements. Marked videotapes and audiotapes accompany the printed materials."--1994 Peabody Awards entry form.
Broadcast Date
Created Date
Asset type
Media type
Moving Image
Embed Code
Copy and paste this HTML to include AAPB content on your blog or webpage.
Guest: Andrews, Hunter
Guest: Timmreck, Paul
Guest: Cranwell, Charles
Host: Dickon, Chris
Producing Organization: WHRO (Television station : Norfolk, Va.)
AAPB Contributor Holdings
The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia
Identifier: cpb-aacip-1d5377bcf9f (Filename)
Format: U-matic
Duration: 0:27:46
If you have a copy of this asset and would like us to add it to our catalog, please contact us.
Chicago: “Assembly Week; No. 702,” 1994, The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed June 28, 2022,
MLA: “Assembly Week; No. 702.” 1994. The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. June 28, 2022. <>.
APA: Assembly Week; No. 702. Boston, MA: The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from