With broad bipartisan support, McAuliffe-backed Virginia Growth and Opportunity Act makes its way to the Senate floor

Richmond, Va. – This morning, with broad bipartisan support, Governor McAuliffe’s “Go Virginia” proposal flew out of Virginia’s Senate Finance Committee. The capstone Virginia Growth and Opportunity Act, SB449, will bring together government, higher education, and the private sector to administer grants that promote a regional approach to economic development. The bill, which reported unanimously and now makes its way to the Senate floor, was co-chief patroned by Senator Janet Howell (D-Fairfax).

Senator Howell said, “Sequestration was a rude awakening: we realized that we had to find a new way to do business. We need to bring different sectors of the economy together if we are going to identify new, creative ways of diversifying out economy. This is a coordinated effort by business, by higher education, by government to bring the resources together and allocate them appropriately. This is the Virginia way. We are building on our own traditions as we move into the future.”

Senate Democratic Leader Dick Saslaw (D-Fairfax) said, “Go Virginia is an innovative approach to economic development here in the Commonwealth. This multiregional, multisectoral collaboration is unprecedented. This is an exciting opportunity that Democrats, Republicans, private sector, public sector, everyone is on board with. It’s time to get to work getting Virginians back to work, with the good-paying jobs they deserve.”

Senator Kenny Alexander (D-Norfolk) said, “This is going to be a game changer for Hampton Roads. Our economy is too tied to defense spending and public sector jobs – this is an opportunity for us to diversify. GO Virginia incentivizes localities to not only create jobs, but incentivizes the private sector to make the capital investments we need to move Virginia forward. I am glad that we are changing the paradigm.”
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