2014 State of the Commonwealth

After 22 years of service to the Commonwealth of Virginia, Governor Bob McDonnell gave his final State of the Commonwealth speech on January 11, 2014. McDonnell discussed the various accomplishments achieved during his gubernatorial term and I’ve decided to highlight some of them below.

  • Expansion of Virginia’s Economy
    • Reduction of Unemployment Rate from 7.4% to 5.4%
    • Creation of 177,000 net jobs with over 160,000 in the private sector
    • Exportation of agricultural and forest products reaching a record high $2.6 billion in 2013
    • Forbes returning Virginia to the top spot as America’s “Best State for Business”
  • Fiscally Responsible Government
    • Posting four straight budget surpluses, totaling a Virginian record of $2 billion
    • Growth of the Rainy Day Fund from $295 million to $1 billion; fourth largest balance in US history
  • Transportation
    • The 2013  bipartisan passing of the transportation bill creates over $6 billion in funding to be dispersed over the next 6 years for Virginia’s transportation system
    • The announcement of over $2.5 billion in road construction projects in 2013
  • Education
    • The implementation of higher educational standards have resulted in:
      • An 8% increase in graduation rates since 2008
      • A 6% decrease in the dropout rate since 2012,
      • And 4th graders’ reading scores are 10% higher than the national average
    • The Opportunity Educational Institution Bill enables the state to step in and manage failing schools
    • An increase of the education dollars percentage from 61% to 64%
    • Highest TAG grant awards for college students in history at $3,300 per student each year
    • 2012 and 2013 marked the lowest average yearly tuition for college students in over a decade
  • Safety
    • Virginia is now the nation’s 4th lowest violent crime rate and the 8th lowest property crime rate
    •  2nd lowest recidivism rate in the nation
  • Natural Conservation
    • Over the past 4 years, 232,000 acres of open space has been conserved
    • In 2013, $460 million in clean water efforts were approved
  • Healthcare
    • The Commonwealth Coordinated Care program will help facilitate the care for those eligible for Medicare and Medicaid
    • The 2013 Department of Justice settlement agreement will provide 750 new Medicaid waiver slots and expand community based services for individuals with developmental disabilities.
  • Other Great Accomplishments
    • The “Virginia Adopts Campaign” eclipsed its goal of matching 1,000 foster children with a permanent adoptive family
    • Increased modeling and simulation opportunities for the Virginian Information Technology Agency resulted in the launching of the MACH37, the nation’s first cyber-security accelerator

One response to “2014 State of the Commonwealth

  1. Don Fredericksen

    Thanks for the interesting summary. It was indeed a successful term helped greatly by you and your colleagues. I am proud of you.

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