Sen. Creigh Deeds, the Democratic nominee for governor, released the following statement Thursday in response to Governor Kaine's announcement that the technology giant SAIC is moving its corporate headquarters to Northern Virginia.
"I applaud Governor Kaine for working with SAIC to bring 1,200 new, high-paying jobs to Northern Virginia. I was also pleased to hear of the planned expansions of six technology, distribution, and healthcare companies in Fairfax County, which are expected to create 334 jobs over the next three years. Executives from these companies said they were attracted by Virginia's business-friendly environment, highly-skilled workforce, and strong economic development programs like the Governor's Opportunity Fund and the Virginia Jobs Investment Program. This is a reminder of why Forbes magazine just yesterday again named Virginia the nation's Best State for Business and why we cannot afford to turn our backs on the progress we've made over the past 8 years under Governors Warner and Kaine.
"In the last four years, Virginia maintained its top ratings as a business-friendly state. The Kaine Administration has created or saved over 84,000 jobs. Even now, with the current economic climate, Virginia is one of only seven states to maintain its triple-A bond rating with every major agency.
"As a legislator, I was proud to lead the effort in 1996 to create the modern Governor's Opportunity Fund, which has since created or saved over 78,000 jobs in Virginia. And in 2004, when Virginia faced a budget crisis that threatened our triple-A bond rating and pro-business reputation, I stood with Governor Warner, Democrats and Republicans in the General Assembly like John Chichester, and members of the business community to restore fiscal integrity to Virginia's budget. Sen. Chichester, who has crossed the aisle to endorse my candidacy, has confirmed that Virginia's current shortfall would be at least double the current shortfall had we not reached that bipartisan consensus in 2004.
"Today my opponent said that making Virginia the best state to do business was 'looking to the past.' I think announcements like today's show that our work together across party lines is building for the future.
"My opponent stood with the minority in opposing Governor Warner's 2004 budget reform. He voted three times to slash the Governors Opportunity Fund, a key tool in attracting jobs to Virginia. And he has consistently stood against the initiatives that have made Virginia the nation's best state for business. As governor, I will double investments in the Governor's Opportunity Fund and devote an additional $10 million to job training efforts so that Virginia can continue to move forward."