Hurt: Put Virginia back on a sound financial footing
Column by Sen. Robert Hurt
On Saturday, Jan. 16, 2010, citizens from all across the Commonwealth of Virginia gathered at our Capitol here in Richmond for the inauguration of our 71st governor, Robert F. McDonnell. As the members of the General Assembly gathered on the front portico of our historic capitol, I was reminded of my great privilege in being able to represent the fine people of the 19th Senate District on this momentous occasion.
The inaugural program reflected the rich history of our great state. The program included drummers and dancers from our eight Virginia Indian tribes, a presentation from the Colonial Williamsburg Fife and Drum corps, a 21-gun salute by our Virginia Army National Guard, a fly over by our Virginia Air National Guard 192nd Fighter Wing, and an inaugural parade that included marching bands from all over the Commonwealth. The parade in honor of the Governor concluded with the traditional review of the corps of Virginia Military Institute in Lexington.
Likewise, the new Governor’s Inaugural Address properly reflected upon our rich Virginia heritage and acknowledged the great blessings that have been bestowed upon us as a people. The governor spoke of the blessing of living in a land so rich with natural beauty and natural bounty – a land with superlative natural resources from the mountain forests in the west to the rich farmland in the Valley and the Piedmont and Southside to our bountiful rivers and Chesapeake Bay in the east. He reminded us that it was this soil upon which our Commonwealth – and our great nation – was founded more than 400 years ago at Jamestown and it was this soil where the founding principles of self-government first took root. He acknowledged the many great founding Virginians who established this country and set the course for a free people to make their way in the pursuit of life, liberty, and happiness.
The governor also laid out his vision for the Commonwealth during the next four years. Governor McDonnell spoke of the difficult task ahead in balancing our budget but also spoke to the opportunity for the General Assembly and the Governor to reevaluate and refocus on the core responsibilities of government. He also reminded the assembly of his belief that the course that will lead Virginia back to prosperity is a renewed focus on promoting economic development and job growth. He concluded his address by reminding Virginians of the paramount importance of being generous our time, talent, and treasure in living up to our important responsibility to love our neighbors as we love ourselves.
I am looking forward to working with Governor McDonnell during this General Assembly session to promote job growth and to put Virginia back on a sound financial footing. I also look forward to working closely with two other Pittsylvania natives who have been appointed to his cabinet: Martin Kent, the Governor’s Chief of Staff, and Todd Haymore, the Governor’s Secretary of Agriculture. The Governor is indeed fortunate to have such experienced and dedicated public servants to carry on the important work of the Commonwealth.