Delegate Dave Albo (R-42) speaks on the floor of the Virginia House of Delegates.
Q: What do you think was a major success of 2013?
A: The transportation bill was not only the most important bill of 2013, but the second most important bill we’ve passed in my twenty years in the General Assembly. We found a solution that lets us keep 100 percent of our money.
Q: What are some transportation priorities in your district?
A: Right now we’ve got a problem with Rolling Road. It’s the same two--lane road that it has been since the 1800s. It hasn’t been much of a problem until the National Geospacial Agency went up about a year and a half ago and brought 7,000 jobs, and now things are becoming a real nightmare. My main goal right now is repavement - some residential roads haven’t been repaved in 15 years.
Q: What do you think will be most important in the upcoming General Assembly session?
A. I’m sure the ethics thing is going to be a big issue. The problem with the ethics thing is, number one, it is already illegal, there’s a guy sitting in prison for taking gifts, so I’m not quite sure that there’s a lot we need to do because it’s already illegal. There are some improvements we can do, such as better transparency. On education, I know that the Republican Caucus is looking to do some revamps on the SOLs. A lot of us, including me, feel like there is too much testing right now. The concept is still pretty good, I still want to make sure that teachers are accountable to teach the kids, but a lot of us feel like it’s been a little bit out of control. We’re looking at extending some of the testing back, giving the teachers a little more time to spend on other things. On higher education, Tim Hugo and I are still in the battle of the century against these schools to add more in-state slots.
Q: What issues do you think people in your district are most worried about?
A: People are most concerned about jobs. The weird thing about that is, I’m the first person to tell you that the government doesn’t create jobs. If it did, the Soviet Union would still be in business. What we do best is we create an atmosphere that makes businesses want to come here. That’s why we passed the Transportation Bill because no new business is going to come here if it takes their workers an hour and a half to get to work. The other reason they come here is for schools. One of the reasons why we’re trying to do this revamp of the SOLs is because a lot of people don’t think they are working like they used to. What we’re trying to do is to create an atmosphere where people want to come and start businesses. The other issue, is an issue about being a Northern Virginia delegate, and that is having Southern Virginia take our money is also another constant battle.
Q: What do you think you can expect from Governor elect Terry McAuliffe?
A: No one knows. Don’t want to rag on the guy, because he seems like a decent guy, but when you run a campaign that is entirely negative, I have no idea what he is for. All I know is that he doesn’t like Ken Cuccinelli. So we don’t know what his agenda is going to be. The only thing I heard is that he wants to expand Medicaid, which would be highly problematic.
Q: What headline would you like to see in 2014?
A: I would like to see no headlines. The stuff that I want to happen is not going to make headlines, which is "General Assembly Passes a Balanced Budget, and Dave Albo’s roads gets repaved."