McDonnell focuses on economic development investments

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Gov. Bob McDonnell pushed asked state lawmakers to push for a number of economic development investments Monday night, but did not outline proposed cuts to make up an estimated $4.2 billion shortfall.

McDonnell asked lawmakers to double the Governor’s Opportunity Fund, which is used to attract companies, from $15 million a year to $30 million a year. He also asked lawmakers to increase the Motion Picture Opportunity Fund to $2 million to attract more movie films to Virginia and spend $7.2 million more in tourism over the next two years.

He also pushed a campaign plan to reduce the eligibility requirement for a $1,000 tax credit per job for new companies from 100 jobs to 50 jobs, and lowering that to 25 jobs in economically distressed areas.

McDonnell also pushed his campaign plan to drill for natural gas and oil off of Virginia’s Eastern shore. He would dedicate four-fifths of the revenue from selling drilling rights to transportation and one-fifth toward renewable energy sources.

McDonnell also proposed streamlining the process of starting a new business by allowing businesses to be opened within 48 hours, allowing current businesses to operate new businesses under an old license while waiting for a new one to be processed and waiving fees for veterans starting a business.

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