Solutions for Economic Growth and Business Friendly Initiatives
Balancing the State Budget through Focused Spending Cuts
Richmond – Amidst the backdrop of continued economic pressures and Virginia’s budget uncertainties, Senator Ryan McDougle (R-Hanover) welcomed the beginning of the 2010 General Assembly session as an opportunity to enhance the state’s business environment and improve the quality of life for all Virginians. Senator McDougle came to Richmond this month committed to a “no-new-taxes” economic growth agenda which preserves jobs within the Commonwealth’s current industry base and creates many more jobs by building on Virginia’s reputation as an attractive state for business.
“Despite what is certainly a difficult economic situation, I am upbeat and encouraged by the level of commitment to fresh ideas and innovative proposals that have the potential to advance our economy and take us from recovery to prosperity,” said McDougle. “To achieve these important goals, it is best for government to stay out of the way as much as possible and let the private sector get to work. This is what the voters chose in November and I will do my part to satisfy their wishes.”
Senator McDougle has vowed to work closely with his colleagues in the legislature and the new Administration towards an economic revival throughout the state, and he will support common-sense legislation that distinguishes Virginia from other budget-challenged states for its business-friendly standards. As an example, Senator McDougle applauds and is a co-sponsor of Senate Bill 129, The Clean Energy Manufacturing Incentive Grant Fund; introduced by Senator Stosch. The bill provides significant financial incentives to companies that invest private capital in research and the development of renewable, clean energy projects that also create jobs. “Virginia must be bold in proactively luring economic development that for many years was largely taken for granted,” he added.
In addition to the energy sector, Senator McDougle recognizes that legislators should work to protect and improve the economic climate for all of Virginia’s traditional industries including agribusiness, manufacturing, shipping, tourism and high-tech development, as well as military and veteran support.
Senator McDougle will also be working with colleagues to improve a state budget proposed by former Governor Kaine, which is unbalanced and puts too much of a burden on Virginia’s businesses and citizens. First and foremost, Senator McDougle will fight any proposal for new taxes. He will ask Virginians to be patient and understand that hard decisions will have to be made and some services reduced or eliminated all together.
“I believe we can balance this budget by doing things smarter and taking advantage of innovations in processes and technologies, while purging the state of wasteful and/or ineffective government practices and programs,” said Senator McDougle. “Many Virginians agree that some services are better left in the private sector than under the umbrella of government bureaucracy.”
Senator McDougle continues to seek improvement to the state’s biennial budget process by adjusting the budget calendar to start in July of odd numbered years. His, Senate Bill 102, would remedy an unnecessary weakness in Virginia’s budgeting process which requires a new Administration to begin its term with a previous governor’s proposals as a starting point for debate, despite the major differences in each governor’s proposals and initiatives. The new system is a rational approach that will save time and money compared to the current outdated legacy system.
Senate Bill 102 still calls for a two-year budget; however, revisions would be made in even numbered years. The lengths of the General Assembly sessions would be adjusted accordingly. Under this new system, a governor would enter office in the middle of the two-year budget and simply oversee the revisions to an in-place budget. This will eliminate any confusion within the legislature and the electorate.
“Under my plan, each time a governor proposes a budget, he/she will be in office to champion it in front of the General Assembly,” said Senator McDougle. “Although this measure did not pass last year, I truly believe this year’s transition sufficiently demonstrates the very quandary that was the impetus for Senate Bill 102, giving it a better chance to succeed.”
Senator McDougle looks forward to providing updates throughout this session. As the state Senator representing Virginia’s 4th Senate District, he always encourages his constituents to share their ideas, suggestions and comments with him during the General Assembly session and throughout the year. He can be reached by e-mail at email@example.com or by phone at 804-698-7504 during the General Assembly session. For further contact information, visit his website at www.ryanmcdougle.com.