First Bill to Increase Jobs Passes Senate

RICHMOND – A plan to spark job creation in Virginia is beginning to move through the Virginia Senate.
 
On Jan. 28, the first bill introduced in the Jobs Now! Plan created by Senate Democrats passed through the Senate with full bipartisan support. The bill, SB965, patroned by Sen. Ralph Northam (D-Norfolk) continues the tax credit for Virginia's commercial aero-space industry by eliminating the sunset date of the sales and use tax exemption for personal property involved in spaceport activities.  
 
The measure will help the state remain competitive in the aero-space industry that has the potential to create high-quality, high-paying jobs.
 
"Virginia is already a national leader in commercial space flight, and this legislation will further encourage investment and the creation of high-paying jobs in this industry," said Northam.
 
The tax credit is one of two bills sponsored by Northam in the Jobs Now! Plan. The second measure is SJ 3330, which calls for the Virginia Institute of Marine Science and the Virginia Marine Resources Commission to create a panel to study state-owned bottom-lands.
 
"Shellfish aquaculture - the growing of clams and oysters - is a $50 million a year business on the Eastern Shore, and is a shining example of sustainable economic development.  This study will help unlock the enormous potential for growth and job creation in aquaculture," said Northam.
 
Jobs Now!, an extensive nine-point legislative package, also includes bills to provide assistance to existing Virginia-based businesses to save and/or create jobs. The plan also includes measures to get the unemployed back to work faster through training workers for new jobs as well as ensure the state's businesses remain competitive.
 
"Our Jobs Now! Package is a serious attempt to address the number one need in Virginia right now – jobs," said Senate Democratic Caucus Chair Mary Margaret Whipple last week. "At almost no cost to Virginia's taxpayers, we are creating and saving jobs by strengthening Virginia's businesses, helping incubate new industries, giving small businesses more access to capital and increasing the productivity of workers." 
 
Several other bills from this legislative package, unveiled last week by the Senate Democratic Caucus, are slated to be considered by Senate committees on Wednesday.

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