During an afternoon visit to ICF International in Martinsville while on his "Virginia: Growing Strong" statewide tour, Governor Bob McDonnell today ceremonially signed job creation and economic development legislation, including measures from his 2012 jobs and economic development agenda. Governor McDonnell was joined today by Lieutenant Governor and Chief Jobs Creation Officer Bill Bolling as well as members of the General Assembly and ICF InternationalChairman and CEO Sudhakar Kesavan. In April 2011, Governor McDonnell announced ICF International's plans to open its first operations center for Business Process Management in Henry County, building a $15 million center and bringing more than 500 new jobs to the region. Today, the governor marked the grand opening of the facility with an official ribbon-cutting.
Speaking about the legislation signed today, Governor McDonnell commented, "Today, we are signing important legislation that will help existing Virginia businesses expand, while also increasing our ability to recruit new job-creating companies to the Commonwealth. There is no better place for this bill signing than right here at ICF. Virginia's strong business climate and the job creating initiatives and tools implemented over the last two years allowed us to successfully compete against Georgia, Maryland, Tennessee and West Virginia to keep the ICF International expansion here in Henry County. That meant more than 500 new jobs for this region. It meant new opportunities for our citizens. This was a great victory for the citizen of Virginia. We need a lot more of them. That is why spurring private sector job creation continues to be our top priority. The nine pieces of legislation I am signing today will help us attract private sector jobs to Virginia through the extension of the major jobs facility tax credit, improvements to infrastructure regulations, encouraging facility expansion and strengthening the criteria of our economic development initiatives. The legislation being signed today will increase our economic competitiveness, continue to make Virginia the best state for business and create a Commonwealth of Opportunity for all Virginians. Most importantly, it will mean more good paying jobs being created here in the Commonwealth."
Lieutenant Governor and Chief Jobs Creation Officer Bill Bolling noted, "During the past two years, we have worked hard to reinvest in Virginia's economic development infrastructure and make job creation the top priority of state government. The results have been impressive, but we can't rest on our past accomplishments. That's why we fought for legislation during this General Assembly session which will continue to enhance our economic development infrastructure and increase opportunity for businesses. We will not stop until we've created the best environment possible for businesses to succeed in Virginia."
Delegate Don Merricks (R-Chatham) added, "Southern Virginia was hit incredibly hard by this recession, enduring double digit unemployment and heartbreaking job layoffs over the last few years. However, because of Governor McDonnell's commitment to revitalizing the Southern Virginia economy, we are starting to see private sector jobs return to the region and family and neighbors return to work. Today is an exciting day as we celebrate the grand opening of a huge job creator in Henry County and highlight legislation passed this session that will help us attract additional jobs and investment to southern Virginia."
Bills Signed Today
HB559 (D. Marshall) / SB511 (Wagner) -- Natural Gas Infrastructure for economic development
Allows natural gas infrastructure expansion for the purpose of economic development projects where it is not already available
HB587 (Merricks) / SB418 (Stanley) -- Improves the process to approve 138kv transmission line
Eliminates the requirement that an electric transmission line of 138 kv obtain State Corporation Commission approval, based on findings that the line is needed and that its corridor or route will reasonably minimize adverse impact on the scenic assets, historic districts, and environment of the area concerned, if a certificate of public convenience and necessity for the line is not required.
HB243 (Cline)/ SB338 (Newman) -- Strengthens the Virginia Investment Act to encourage additional investment
Decreases from five to three years the legal presence requirement to be considered an existing Virginia manufacturer under the Virginia Investment Partnership Act
HB714 (Kilgore)/ SB368 (Reeves) -- Encourages additional investment through the major business facility job tax credit
Extends the time period during which the major business facility job tax credit may be taken within a two-year allowance
HB841 (James) -- Expands eligibility for full-time job creations tax credit and grant
Allows a business creating permanent, full-time positions to be eligible for both the major business facility job tax credit and enterprise zone job creation grants