Saturday, October 5, 2013

Governor McDonnell Announces Blueprint for Administration’s Final 100 Days

English: Governor of Virginia at CPAC in .
 Governor of Virginia  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Sprint to the Finish” Focuses on Securing Additional Positive Results for Virginians Over Last 3 Months
Governor Will Introduce Next Biennial Budget; Implement Education Reforms; Continue to Prioritize Restoration of Rights Efforts; Streamline State Government

NEW YORK CITY- With exactly 100 days remaining in the gubernatorial administration of Governor Bob McDonnell, the governor today announced a “Sprint to the Finish” final 100 days plan that aims to continue the administration’s successes in improving the quality of life of all Virginians and building a “Commonwealth of Opportunity.” Over the course of the last four years the Administration has worked with the General Assembly to successfully achieve Virginia’s first major transportation funding plan in over a generation, add 14,000 new slots for in-state undergraduate students at Virginia’s colleges and universities, put more education dollars into the classroom and initiated significant k-12 education reforms, strengthen Virginia’s pension system, and work with the private sector to help put in place policies that have helped drop Virginia’s unemployment rate from 7.4% in January 2010 to 5.8% today, the lowest unemployment rate in the Southeast. Now, the governor is laying out a number of initiatives and goals for the administration to focus on in the final months of his time in office. The governor made the announcement while on his annual visit to bond rating firms in New York City where he, along with legislators and administration officials, will discuss Virginia’s fiscal standing and financial outlook moving forward.

Speaking about the “Sprint to the Finish” blueprint for the final 100 days, the governor remarked, “This has been an administration focused on getting results for the people. Through bipartisan cooperation and policy innovation, that is what we’ve done. Virginia now has the transportation funding plan that we were lacking for over 20 years. Since we took office, the state unemployment rate has fallen to 5.8%, lowest in the Southeast, and 158,000 net new private sector jobs have been created in the Commonwealth. Our education reforms have introduced increased compensation and accountability for our teachers, expanded educational choices for our students, and put more money in the classroom, not in bureaucracy. Our colleges and universities are more affordable and accessible. Agricultural exports, tourism revenue, and wine sales are all at record highs. This is a record of results that is a bipartisan achievement. Now, as we reach the final 100 days of our time in office, our focus will remain the same: getting results for the people of Virginia.”

The governor continued, “Over these final 100 days Virginians will continue to see results in Richmond. We will introduce the Commonwealth’s next biennial budget, laying out the state’s fiscal framework for the next two years and continuing our tradition of budgeting conservatively and investing wisely in the core functions of government most essential to job creation and economic growth. We will implement the major education reforms we passed last session, with Virginia schools converting to an ‘A-F’ grading scale, the board and head of the Opportunity Educational Institution being selected, pay raises and strategic compensation for teachers moving forward, and recommendations received from our newly-created Governor’s Teachers Cabinet.

He concluded, “We will continue our commitment to restoring, automatically, the rights of Virginians who have paid their dues and deserve to regain the fundamental and basic right to vote and participate fully in our democracy. We will host our fourth ‘Governor’s Energy Conference’ and continue to look for all means by which we can further establish Virginia as ‘The Energy Capital of the East Coast.’ Virginians will continue to see new road projects getting underway all across the Commonwealth as our historic transportation funding bill brings long overdue resources to our transportation system, saving Virginia motorists time and money. And, finally, we will work in partnership with the incoming gubernatorial administration to ensure a seamless and smooth transition of power in keeping with the very best of the Virginia tradition. This is a ‘Sprint to the Finish’, and I look forward to it. Washington D.C. may not work, but Richmond does, and this administration will continue to work hard until the clock strikes noon on Saturday, January 11th.”

“Sprint to the Finish”:  Major Objectives for the Final 100 Days of the McDonnell Administration

1. Reform State Government
            A. Successfully combine DMBE and DBA into a single, efficient agency
B. Eliminate additional pages of unnecessary, burdensome regulations through the Governor’s regulatory reform initiative
C.  Further streamline state government by consolidating Virginia’s Intergovernmental Affairs office

2. Improve Virginia’s Schools
            A.  Bring A – F school grading system to all Virginia localities
            B.  Establish Strategic Compensation for teachers
            D.  Receive recommendations of the Governor’s Teacher Cabinet

3. Protect and Help All Virginians
            A. Continue goal of finding adoptive homes for 1000 of Virginia’s longest waiting children
            B. Sign Executive Directive to step up Virginia’s ongoing fight against human trafficking

4. Strengthen Democracy
A. Continue to restore rights of more Virginians in keeping with Governor’s announcement of an automatic restoration of rights, on an individualized basis, process for non-violent offenders
B. Provide an orderly, efficient experience at the ballot box for the 2013 General Election by ensuring a vastly shorter wait at polling places

5.  Make Higher Education More Affordable and Accessible
A. Receive input from the Higher Education Advisory Committee and issue a new higher education funding formula to incentivize the goals of the governor’s higher education policies
B. Increase the state’s commitment to higher education funding through the biennial budget development process.

6. Bring More New Jobs to Virginia
A. Secure landmark deals in areas like film, tourism, and agriculture to grow those sectors and bring more jobs to Virginia in the last 100 days of the governor’s term
B. Attract new investment in modeling and simulation, cyber security, and other technology sectors in the Commonwealth
C. Receive and publish the Commonwealth’s long term cyber security plan

7.  Further Establish Virginia as “The Energy Capital of the East Coast”
A. Recognize Dominion’s execution of the first wind energy lease off the coast of Virginia; second nationally
B.  Host the 4th Governor’s Energy Conference during Governor McDonnell’s term
C. Increase the number of alternative fuel vehicles in the state fleetvia the public-private partnership put in place by the administration
D. Continue to fight overreaching EPA regulations that deter job growing policies and energy development in Virginia

8. Reduce Congestion and Improve Virginia’s Transportation System
            B. Establish regional planning groups contemplated in the 2013 transportation package

9. Develop Strategic, Balanced Biennial Budget for the Commonwealth
A. Introduce in December a biennial budget that continues to invest wisely in the core functions of Virginia’s state government
B. Continue historic investments in the Rainy Day Fund, the Virginia Retirement System, Virginia’s K-12 system, higher education, and Medicaid reforms

10.  Partner with the Incoming Administration for a Seamless Transition of Power
A. Facilitate a seamless transition to the next gubernatorial administration
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