Over the past decade, Republicans in the Virginia House of Delegates under the leadership of Speaker William J. Howell, have responsibly led and governed the Commonwealth of Virginia.
We have invested in the core services of government while balancing the state budget without raising taxes. We have cut spending back to 2007 levels and turned budget shortfalls into surpluses.
Virginia's unemployment rate is 5.7%, the lowest in the Southeast and well below the national average. We are ranked as one of the nation's top states to do business. Our regulatory policies encourage job creation, not hinder it. By keeping taxes low, we have created an environment where businesses know they can succeed.
Our legislative agenda is focused on continuing this good work.
Job Creation & Economic Development
Speaker Howell and House Republicans are always looking for ways to encourage job creation, create new opportunities for Virginias and grow our economy. By keeping taxes and regulation low, investing in our schools and promoting Virginia as a great place to live and work, we can attract new jobs to our state and grow our economy.
In order to compete in a 21st Century economy, our children have to have a 21st century education. Education creates opportunity and prosperity. That's why we are promoting a series of innovative K-12 Education proposals that will increase flexibility and accountability in our schools.
Our agenda includes:
• Promoting Charter & Virtual Schools to Promote Flexibility
• Expanding Teacher Training & Recruitment
• Ending Teacher Tenure to Promote Accountability
• Creating a Strategic Compensation Plan to Reward Creativity & Success
Fiscal Responsibility & Government Reform
Unlike Washington, Virginia believes in fiscal responsibility. This year, the House of Delegates will consider the Governor's Amendments to the state budget for FY2013-2014.
Last year, we balanced our budget without raising taxes by prioritizing and making the tough choices.
Because of the uncertainty in Washington and with the nation's economy, we must be as cautious and conservative as ever.
As well as working to keep the state budget in balance, we're also looking at ways to make state government more efficient, effective, accountable and transparent. By streamlining services, reducing paperwork requirements, eliminating unfunded mandates and cutting red tape, we can save the state money and make it work better for the people.
We will also be focused on a litany of other key priorities like transportation, public health and public safety. These are key issues to Virginians and our core philosophy is that government must work smart and effective when delivering services.
We want to continue to improve and invest in the core functions of government while cutting waste and fat from government.
Virginia is a beautiful state with a rich history. Throughout our history Virginians have lead the nation and we will look to continue to lead throughout the 21st Century.