At New Richmond Ventures, Governor McAuliffe signed SB362 which allows the Secretary of Commerce and Trade to coordinate with the private sector on issues related to entrepreneurship, and to solicit input on creative solutions to ongoing government issues. The bill is the latest effort by the Governor to promote entrepreneurs, encourage startups, and diversify the economy.
The bill, patroned by Senator Dick Saslaw, and its companion bill HB321 patroned by Delegate Steve Landes passed with unanimous support through both chambers of the General Assembly. The bill received enthusiastic support from Virginia Commonwealth University along with the private sector.
“This legislation is an example of Democrats and Republicans coming together to find creative solutions to the problems facing the Commonwealth today,” said Governor McAuliffe as he signed the bill. “In addition, this bill harnesses the most important asset of our rapidly diversifying new economy: entrepreneurs.”
“Entrepreneurs are a key component to creating a strong and diverse economy,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Maurice Jones. “We are committed to ensuring that Virginia becomes the top state in the nation in which to start a business.”
“This new law opens the door for the private sector and state government to work hand in hand on economic issues facing the Commonwealth,” said Senator Dick Saslaw. “Bringing successful business models in to state agencies, can only enhance services for Virginians.”
"This legislation is not only a perfect example of bipartisan cooperation and support, but it will bring about the possibility of true business practices to Virginia's Government,” added Delegate Steve Landes.
Under the new law, the Secretary of Commerce and Trade is allowed to:
· Open a pilot program to improve outreach by the state government to the private sector
· Bring private sector entrepreneurs into state agencies in order to streamline their processes
· Contract with a public institution of higher education for the management of the program