House GOP Caucus talks jobs, economic development

On Monday the House Republican Caucus held its first weekly Policy Work Group press conference, highlighting various job creation and economic development initiatives. Following the press conference, the Policy Work Group issued the following statement:

“We were excited to host our first weekly Policy Work Group press conference this morning,” said Del. Chris Peace (R-Hanover) who will host the weekly event. “Each week we have an opportunity to articulate the Republican vision for job creation, government reform, public education and other issues – to show Virginians that we have affordable, thoughtful, common-sense solutions to the issues that affect every citizen in the Commonwealth,” he continued.

The press conference featured various proposals from members of the House Republican Caucus, with this week’s focus on jobs and economic development.

“Again this year, we’ll be working hand-in-hand with Governor McDonnell to create good paying jobs and to promote investment in Virginia’s business community,” said House Speaker Bill Howell (R-Stafford). “The keys to successful economic development are access to capital, innovation in growth sectors and fostering an environment conducive to business. We will continue to pursue these objectives.”

“As we continue to recover from the economic recession, we need to help add fuel to the business community,” said Del. Terry Kilgore (R-Scott), patron of House Bill 714, which extends the acceleration of the Major Business Facility Jobs Tax Credit. “Helping the job creators in Virginia secure the capital investments they need in order to create jobs, is a critical piece of the puzzle. Paving the way for some of Virginia’s largest job creators is an important step,” he commented.

Republicans plan to expand Virginia’s role as a national high-tech leader. House Majority Whip Jackson Miller (R-Manassas) is carrying legislation to incentivize research and development in the Commonwealth. “House Bill 1102 will promote research and development activity here in Virginia, while promoting renewable energy. Exploring energy alternatives while creating jobs is a win-win, and I look forward to working closely with Gov. McDonnell on this innovative legislation,” said Miller.

Del. Barbara Comstock (R-Fairfax) discussed two bills she introduced this session. House Bill 1013 extends the current capital gains tax exemption for start ups. Comstock said, “This will continue to allow our job creators to expand investment in science and technology by exempting investment in business start ups from capital gains taxes. Virginia investors will be encouraged to support our entrepreneurs and create more good paying high tech jobs.”

Comstock is also carrying House Bill 33, a bill that encourages competitive bidding on transportation and infrastructure projects and will stretch our tax dollars and guarantee that free enterprise and full and open competition will determine how public construction contracts are awarded. “Some have attempted to mandate union project labor agreements on projects. It has been estimated such union mandates would raise costs by 10 to 20 percent or more with the most egregious example being Boston’s ‘Big Dig’ debacle. This bill simply ensures neutrality and provides that the 96 percent of the Virginia private construction workforce who choose not to join a labor union have a fair opportunity to compete for projects funded with our tax dollars,” said Comstock.


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