This week in Richmond was marked by a some encouraging economic news, a solemn ceremony honoring fallen heroes at the Wall of Honor, and a brilliant example of how anyone – even young people – can make a difference if they put their mind to it.
- Virginia’s unemployment rate fell to 6.1% in April – far better than the national average of 9%. While it’s generally expected that anticipation of tourist season and increased economic activity due to warmer weather leads to a slightly improved unemployment rate in late spring, that the Commonwealth’s unemployment rate is almost 3 percentage points better than the national average is further evidence that the Governor’s spending reductions, focus on job creation and pro-growth policies are indeed improving Virginia’s economy.
- Governor McDonnell reported that the Commonwealth is expected to post a surplus when the fiscal year concludes in June. While it goes without saying, this bit of news stands in stark contrast to the massive deficit spending and record debt we’re seeing piling up in Washington, and will be the second consecutive surplus posted since the Governor took office.
- VDOT’s $600 million bond sale this week netted an additional $47.7 million premium, highlighting the value of Virginia’s creditworthiness and the desire for private investors to take advantage of the Commonwealth’s stability in a world of uncertainty. This new money will quickly be put to work on over 900 transportation projects already identified.
- Governor McDonnell announced that $600,000 in anticipated state agency savings will go toward helping Virginians who were affected by severe weather and tornadoes that struck the Commonwealth in April. Additionally, he encouraged Virginia citizens and private businesses to contribute to the relief efforts by visiting http://disasterrelief.vi.virginia.gov/ and, if able, making a very welcomed donation.
- The Governor gave an address at Virginia’s Wall of Honor ceremony on Thursday, paying tribute to the 233 Virginians who have given the ultimate sacrifice since 2000 in the global War or Terror. In doing so, Governor McDonnell stated that, “We do this every year because we understand that freedom is not free.”