Senate Democrats Jobs Plan Advances in the Senate

RICHMOND – Job creation was the theme of the day for the Virginia’s Democratic senators as they advanced legislation included in their nine-point Jobs Now!  package.

Senate Joint Resolutions, SJ329 and SJ330, calling for studies of the state’s economic incentives and aquaculture industry passed on the Senate floor Wednesday afternoon. 

The first measure, introduced by Sen. Janet Howell (D- Reston), directs the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission to study to the effectiveness of economic development incentive grants in the state.    

Howell said the study is will be an effective job recruitment tool for Virginia.

“It’s important we gather the information necessary to develop the best possible incentives to attract new businesses and help existing ones grow in order to keep Virginia competitive. The study will help us invest our limited resources wisely and ensure we make the best use of taxpayer dollars,” she said.

The second resolution, SJ330, calls for a joint study on ways to better utilize the subaqueous bottomlands on the Eastern Shore by the Virginia Institute on Marine Science and the Virginia Marine Resources Commission.  The bill was introduced by Sen. Ralph Northam (D-Norfolk).

“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 recently.

Several other bills included the Jobs Now!Plan were also considered by  the Senate Finance and  Senate General Laws Committees on Wednesday.  The bills called for employee training programs and a state contracting preference.  

On Jan. 28, the first bill introduced in the Senate Jobs Plan, SB965, passed through the Senate with full bipartisan support. The bill also patroned by Northam 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.  
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