Today, U.S. Senate candidate and former governor Tim Kaine met with Latino business leaders and community members at a roundtable discussion in Richmond. Kaine shared his approach to strengthening the economy and creating jobs, focusing on strategies he found successful in Virginia--investing in small businesses, developing a talent-based economy, and working to find common ground to address fiscal issues.
Throughout the 75-minute bilingual discussion at Kenn Tico Grill, Kaine laid out his vision for developing a talent economy that allows all Virginians to fully utilize their abilities. Kaine expressed his support for the DREAM Act and advocated comprehensive immigration reform that secures the borders while allowing skilled workers to create jobs and succeed in the United States.
"As senator, I will push for comprehensive immigration reform that enhances border security while ensuring the world's best and brightest can come here to pursue their dreams and contribute to our economy," said Kaine. "I also support the DREAM Act so talented young people can normalize their immigration status and maximize their potential."
Kaine also emphasized the importance of leveling the playing field for small businesses, including increasing their access to capital. Kaine explained how small businesses will benefit from his strategy of targeted investments in infrastructure, clean energy technology, workforce development, and education.
"We have to level the playing field for small and startup business like the ones so many of you have," said Kaine. "Those are the true job creators and we need policies that support their success. We also need to invest in the talent of our workforce to ensure we remain globally competitive in the 21st century economy."
Kaine has always been a strong supporter of minority owned businesses. As governor, he significantly increased state contracts with small, women, and minority owned businesses. And despite a deep national recession during Kaine's term, Forbes magazine named Virginia the "Best State for Business" four years in a row, Education Week named Virginia the best state to raise a child, and Governing magazine named Virginia best managed state in the nation. In addition, Kaine worked across party lines to make more than $5 billion in spending cuts to keep Virginia's budget balanced.
In contrast, during his time as a U.S. Senator, Allen voted for the largest cut to student financial aid in United States history as public tuition rose by 40 percent. In addition, Allen helped turn a record surplus into a massive deficit and voted to add more than $3 trillion to the national debt while voting four times to raise his own pay.
Since the beginning of the year, Kaine has held more than 80 economic roundtable discussions across the state, including several with Latino leaders and community members.