For Virginians to prosper, Virginia's businesses must prosper. Since you elected me to the Senate, I have focused on creating a climate in Virginia that will encourage the success of our businesses, large and small. Right now our region's economy is facing serious challenges. We need to aggressively face the factors hampering prosperity.
I am proud to have helped Virginia maintain our AAA bond rating and be ranked "Best State for Business," "Best Managed State", and "Best State to Raise a Child." But, now, we must work especially hard to keep ahead of other states and compete globally.
Nicknamed "The Technology Senator" in the early "90's, I have worked to secure Virginia's place as a global leader in the technology revolution. My efforts include:
* Passing legislation to level the playing field with other states to attract and keep businesses which were faced with unfair taxes here in Virginia.
* Establishing a network of Technology Councils (based on the Northern Virginia Technology Council model) in the state. I did this as the Senate member of the Virginia Technology Council.
* Establishing Technology Zones so local governments can attract that industry.
* Serving on the Joint Commission on Technology and Science.
* Funding the Regional Competitiveness Program which provides workforce training for those interested in the technology field.
* Promoting the Center for Innovative Technology to help small businesses use new technologies and to win more federal contracts and grants.
* Establishing the Biotechnology Commercialization Loan Fund.
* Serving on Governor Kaine's IT Healthcare and the IT Workforce committees.
I am very proud to have received every award the Northern Virginia Technology Council has ever given. In fact I was the first recipient of their new lifetime achievement award, the TechTenure award.
Recently I was selected co-chair of the BioTech caucus and have copatroned tax credits to assist biotech firms.
As a member of the Virginia Workforce Council, I focused on workforce development. As a member of the Virginia Small Business Commission I also worked on small business issues. State loans, grants, childcare availability, and training opportunities to small businesses received the bulk of our attention.
In 2011 I am endorsed by the political arms of the Northern Virginia Technology Council, the VA Biotech Association, the Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce, and the AFL-CIO. As your Senator, I will continue to meet the needs of our workforce and employers so we can regain our economic prosperity.