As his term draws to a close Governor McDonnell announced plans to travel the state highlighting some of the accomplishments of his administration. The following is a release from his office:
"Governor Bob McDonnell will embark this Friday on a week-long “This Commonwealth of Opportunity” tour of Virginia. The tour, which begins in Salem and concludes in Leesburg, will highlight Virginia’s successes over the past three and a half years including a falling unemployment rate, rebounding shellfish industry, transportation breakthroughs, open space conservation achievements, increased agricultural exports, and educational innovations to benefit Virginia’s students, teachers and parents. The tour will take the governor, and members of the cabinet, from Virginia’s highest bridge in Buchanan County in the mountains of Southwest Virginia to a vineyard located between the Chesapeake Bay and Atlantic Ocean on the Eastern Shore. Along the way the tour will be stopping everywhere from Civil War battlefields to growing research universities to 21st century technology companies.
Speaking about the upcoming tour, Governor McDonnell noted, “This is a Commonwealth of Opportunity. Over the past three and a half years, through bipartisan cooperation, Virginia has taken tremendous steps forward. Our unemployment rate has fallen from 7.3% to 5.5% and is the lowest in the Southeast, and far below the national average. Since the beginning of our administration, Virginia has added 172,600 net new jobs. Agricultural exports have reached record highs. At the same time we’ve posted four straight revenue surpluses, more than doubled the state’s Rainy Day Fund, and dramatically reduced the future unfunded liabilities in our pension system. State workers have received their first pay raise in 6 years. We broke a nearly three-decade long standstill on transportation funding to put in place a bold new plan that will pump nearly $6 billion in new revenue into roads and rail around the state over the next five years. We’ve made college more affordable and accessible for Virginia students, and added thousands of new slots for in-state students at our colleges and universities. And our K-12 system is stronger than ever with the implementation of new reforms and policies that will ensure all students get the world-class educations they deserve. In short, the last three and a half years have witnessed significant progress being made in addressing the challenges facing our citizens in their daily lives. Virginia has more jobs; Virginians have more opportunities. I look forward to traveling the state in the days ahead to see some of these successes first-hand, and to learn more about what we can continue to do in Richmond to improve the lives of all Virginians.”