McDonnell signs innovation bills
Gov. Bob McDonnell on Thursday ceremonially signed the first part of his Opportunity at Work legislative package, along with other economic development legislation, at a morning event at the Virginia Biotechnology Research Park in Richmond.
The 10 measures are designed to help attract new businesses to Virginia and help existing businesses grow and expand.
“The key to turning our economy around and getting Virginians back to work is ensuring that businesses continue to choose the Commonwealth of Virginia to locate, grow and expand. Our economic success is dependent on good jobs, a well educated workforce and a strong business climate. The legislation I ceremonially signed today positions us to continue to be the best state in America in which to start or grow a business,” McDonnell said.
Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling, Virginia’s Chief Jobs Creation Officer, said, “I am gratified to stand beside Gov. McDonnell as he signs part of the economic development legislation passed during the 2011 General Assembly Session. I applaud the broad, bipartisan support that these initiatives received from members of the General Assembly. These new innovative economic development initiatives will allow us to aggressively build upon the successes of the past and compete for new business in a wide range of emerging industries. They will help ensure that key sectors of Virginia’s economy will thrive and grow.”
Sen. Mark Herring (D-Leesburg) commented on the package. “The key to growing Virginia’s innovative economy is incentivizing research and development in the Commonwealth,” Herring said. “The tax credits we will now be able to offer for early-stage firms in targeted, rapidly growing industries will enable us to grow and keep more businesses here. Companies have recognized that Virginia is perfectly situated for research and development and these tax credits will foster growth and make Virginia and our universities even more competitive.”
Del. Terry Kilgore (R-Gate City), who patroned legislation adjusting the criteria for the Governor’s Development Opportunity Fund, noted, “The Governor’s Development Opportunity Fund is one of the best tools we have to recruit companies to Virginia. The legislation we passed streamlines this incentive and creates the opportunity for new jobs and investment for projects – especially in localities with high unemployment or high poverty. By making this adjustment we will be better able to bring new jobs to areas of the state that have been most affected by the economic downturn.”