Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Creigh Deeds Will Pursue Legislation That Accepts $125 Million In Unemployment Funds

Earlier today I wrote about how I thought Creigh’s campaign had to do something to get people excited about his campaign. It turns out he put out a statement today which says that he would commit to pursuing legislation next year that accepts $125 million in unemployment funds – funds which Bob McDonnell and the Republicans in the General Assembly opposed.
“By leading the partisan charge to oppose $125 million in stimulus funds to extend unemployment benefits, Bob McDonnell turned his back on Virginia’s most vulnerable citizens,” said Sen. Deeds. “This unemployment stimulus money will retrain Virginians to improve their job skills and help the unemployed temporarily put food in the fridge and gas in the tank.”

“I voted for Governor Kaine's proposals and I still support them,” continued Sen. Deeds. “I intend to start the process on my first day in office to accept these funds should our hard economic times continue.”
The timing of Deeds’ statement coincides with his “Deeds Country Tour” which took him to downtown Danville, which has been severely impacted by the economic downtown. The community’s unemployment rate is double the state average. When I was in Danville a few months ago, it was obvious that folks wanted to get ahead and help themselves but simply needed a little help to get things going again.

I even toured a program at the Danville Community College which had a partnership program set up with many of the local businesses. Students would receive job training in an accelerated program at DCC and, upon graduation, would be guaranteed an interview at some of the local businesses. This program gave people the opportunity to get ahead and provided local businesses with an educated workforce. I bring this up because I think it’s a prime example of how some funding of good programs can really help communities grow during these tough economic times.

Deeds appears to understand this concept as he is looking to reward job creation, even if it comes from small businesses instead of big corporations.
“As I continue to fight for stimulus funds to help Danville’s unemployed workers retrain and find work, my economic plan will support businesses by providing a tax cut for any company in Virginia that creates even one job,” said Sen. Deeds. “My opponent’s plan requires small business owners to hire fifty workers – twenty-five workers in this region - to gain tax credits, even though their businesses here typically employ less than fifty people.”
Deeds also pointed out that he had a plan that would include some immediate solutions for small business owners and workers, such as:
  • Provide tax incentives for businesses that create jobs;
  • Help unemployed workers purchase emergency health insurance;
  • Double the Governor’s Opportunity Fund and put $10 million into job training;
  • Create a Rural Business Fund to help small businesses in distressed communities;
  • Finish the last mile of broadband by 2013;
  • Boost investments in the tourism industry;
  • Cut red tape in the small business permitting process;
  • Increase state contracting for small, women- and minority-owned (SWAM) businesses;
  • And train people for jobs in science and technology related fields.
Now I’m very happy with this action Creigh has taken because it would provide solutions for communities like Danville. This is obviously the ultimate goal and the reason that we need to have a Democrat in the Governor’s mansion. At the same time, I think these are the type of concrete action plans that Deeds needs to put out in order to get people excited about his candidacy. I’m definitely looking forward to hearing more of these great ideas from Creigh’s campaign as we head towards November and will be glad to work with him on these issues if he’s indeed elected governor.

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