Gov. Bob McDonnell to seek $54 million in budget amendments to support job creation

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Gov. Bob McDonnell announced a package of spending cuts Wednesday that would reallocate $191 million, allowing him to put more money into his top priorities, including job creation. 

McDonnell and Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling, the state’s chief jobs creation officer, said at a press conference at the state Capitol that the governor will seek $54 million in budget amendments to continue momentum in creating new jobs. 

Since the General Assembly passed McDonnell’s $58 million economic development package during the last session, Virginia has been able to provide new tools and incentives that encouraged existing businesses to expand and attracted new jobs from the private sector. 

“To date, we have added 55,000 net new jobs, ranking Virginia in the top three states for job creation over the period,” McDonnell said.  “While these successes are encouraging, there is still much work to be done.”

This second package of his “Opportunity At Work,” agenda — which includes steps recommended by the governor’s economic development and jobs creation commission — is intended to build upon the success of the past year, he said.

The new investments are designed to bolster innovation, expand small business and support tourism and workforce training. The recommendations include: 

• $25 million for a Virginia research and technology innovation fund
• $5 million for a refundable research and development tax credit
• $5 million for the Virginia Small Business Financing Authority to help provide capital to small businesses
• $5 million for a Virginia Port tax incentive
• $3 million for noncredit courses at community colleges to provide specific training for businesses
• $2 million for the Governor’s Motion Picture Opportunity Fund
• $2 million for a tourism micro loan fund
• $4 million for industrial site revitalization

Several business leaders came out in support of the governor’s initiative. Julie Hammond,  state director for the National Federation of Independent Business, said, “These major investments … will ensure that Virginia’s economy continues to grow and the small-business community has the support necessary to lead that growth.” 

McDonnell will release his full budget amendment package Friday.

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