GOP gubernatorial nominee Bob McDonnell and Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling have unveiled four proposals that they claim will help stimulate the economy and bring more jobs to the Commonwealth.
In a lengthy conference call Thursday, the pair also criticized current Gov. Tim Kaine (D) for his approach toward boosting employment.
McDonnell and Bolling propose:
- Expanding the Governor’s Opportunity Fund, roughly doubling it in size and changing rules about how it is used. The Fund is what governors use to offer incentives to companies to set-up shop in the Commonwealth
- Creating a cabinet-level position of Chief Job Creation Officer, with Bolling appointed to serve in that capacity
- Dedicating one deputy secretary of commerce to focus solely on economic development in rural sections of Virginia
- Offering a $1,000 tax credit to any business that creates 50 jobs or to a company that makes 25 hires in economically obliterated communities.
McDonnell said the money to pay for these new measures can come from the state budget which, he says, needs some shuffling.
“To me, it’s a matter of priority,” he said, later adding “I’ll find that money and in the long-term, these investments will pay for themselves.”
Late this afternoon, Democratic gubernatorial nominee Creigh Deeds criticized the McDonnell-Bolling proposal, saying the governor ought to be the state’s chief job creation officer.
“My opponent has a long record of supporting [former Republican Gov.] Jim Gilmore’s fiscal gimmicks and opposing [former Democratic Gov.] Mark Warner’s bipartisan economic recovery plan,” Deeds said in a statement.
“So it’s no wonder my opponent wants to appoint somebody else to be in charge of job creation.