This Week in George Allen History…March 13, 1997 – Tax Cuts – With unemployment at an eight-year low, George Allen signed legislation that cut the unemployment tax and put more than $154 million into the hands of Virginia businesses. As a result, the tax was eliminated entirely for 89,000 mostly small businesses (nearly 60 percent of Virginia’s job creators) for four years, while benefits increased. Overall George Allen reduced taxes on families and businesses by more than $600 million during his term as Governor.
March 14, 1997 – Education – George Allen announced that the General Assembly had fully funded his Early Reading Initiative to identify children who are struggling to learn how to read in kindergarten and first grade, using a reading diagnostic test, and offering an additional 2.5 hours of instructional time per week to provide special instruction before students fell too far behind to catch up.
March 15, 1995 – Economic Development – George Allen announced the location of a new customer service operation center in the Newport News area that brought more than $15 million in initial investment and over 800 jobs for Virginians in a 24-month period. Today it is one of the largest employers in Newport News. With the combination of more prompt permitting, lower taxes and personal recruitment, by the end of Allen’s term, Virginia had added 310,000 net new jobs and attracted a staggering $14 billion in private capital investment.
March 16, 2005 – Energy – George Allen voted in favor of developing our nation’s energy resources in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). The 51-49 vote in the Senate was to be the first step in allowing the United States to start drilling for the estimated 17 billion barrels of oil and 34 trillion cubic feet of natural gas believed to be beneath ANWR. Despite the Senate's action, ANWR drilling remains blocked today. George Allen continues to believe that for American jobs, competitiveness and our national security we must unleash our plentiful resources and creativity.
March 17, 1997 – Criminal Justice Reform – George Allen signed two important pieces of legislation that cracked down on drug gangs and gave prosecutors additional tools in the war against drugs. The legislation permitted drug gang members to be tried jointly and made it a capital offense to order the murder of another person or commit the ordered murder itself, as part of drug activity. By the end of Allen’s term, drug felons saw a 400% increase in prison time and anti-drug community-designed programs like DARE were helping spread their message to over 78,000 children across the Commonwealth.