Home Virginia Politics Video: Governor McAuliffe Kicks Off 2015

Video: Governor McAuliffe Kicks Off 2015


It was Creigh Deeds’ event, but guest Terry McAuliffe ran with it, ringing out the first and in the second year as Virginia’s 72nd Governor. McAuliffe made his first campaign stop of 2015 supporting his former gubernatorial rival and using the opportunity to tune up on this year’s legislative agenda.

A year after taking office, the Governor took the opportunity to climb on the soapbox to emphasize the issues he ran on and report progress. He enumerated a number of issues, but jobs and healthcare were the bookends claiming substantial progress on one and frustration with the other. On jobs, he pointed out that the state faced strong headwinds, losing nine billion dollars in defense contacts the last three years; more than any other state in the country. So, he has set out re-purposing Virginia’s economy to make it less reliant on the federal government. That is what he thinks about every single day.

Additional issues addressed:

  • Women’s rights
  • Marriage equality
  • Responsible gun ownership
  • Mental/behavioral health
  • Reformed Standards of learning
  • Daycare centers
  • Restoration of rights
  • Building broadband

McAuliffe announced that there would be a booklet published today, the first anniversary of his inauguration, outlining accomplishments during his first year in office. Highlighting successes on jobs, he said his whole emphasis is on how to build that new economy. And in that effort he has become the most travelled governor in our nation’s history. The results so far include 265 economic deals and $5.4 billion in direct investment; double what any governor has ever done on job creation.  

 photo 150110McAuliffeinCharlottesville_zps5f1d0ab2.jpg

You all know I say sleep when you’re dead. I go seven days a week.

He closed with a discussion of Medicaid expansion and the lack of success moving the General Assembly toward doing the right thing. Every single Virginian, he says, should have access to quality healthcare. Asking how many in the room have been to the RAM clinic in Wise, he used that event to explain why he’s so passionate about the issue. For those who have not been there, he hopes they will go this year to watch doctors, dentists, and nurses give a weekend of their lives bringing thousands of Virginians one day of healthcare each year.

You can dislike the President; you can dislike the law. We have paid for it. We ship $2.5 billion a year out of our pockets to Washington, DC every year. We have the right to bring every one of those dollars back to Virginia…We pay for their healthcare. People are dying because of our inaction…Folks, we are talking Virginia is a disgrace. And I’m going to fight to my last breath to fix it.

Notable omissions from the discussion: ethics and the environment.

  • HJ 547 would get rid of Virginia’s odd-year elections, which contribute to low turnout and Republican wins in “Obama/Kaine districts” (because of Democratic “federal-only” voters “dropping off” in odd years). Of course, Republicans would never support this, but still…good to put this on the agenda (although why wait until 2030?)!

    Constitutional amendment (first resolution); establish uniform schedule for general elections. Establishes a uniform schedule for general elections of state and local officers to coincide with federal elections held in November of even-numbered years beginning in 2030. The amendment directs the General Assembly to provide by law for the transition to all general elections being held in November of even-numbered years. For the purpose of transitioning to the uniform schedule, the terms of office for state elected officers may be extended, but not shortened, and the terms of office for local elected officers may be shortened, but by no more than one year.

  • HB 1475 Natural gas utilities; recovery and deferral of system expansion infrastructure costs.

    Natural gas utilities; recovery of system expansion infrastructure costs. Establishes a procedure under which a natural gas utility may seek State Corporation Commission (SCC) approval of a system expansion plan that includes, among other things, a schedule for recovery of eligible system expansion infrastructure costs through a system expansion rider and a methodology for deferral of unrecovered eligible system expansion costs. A system expansion plan and system expansion rider shall allocate and charge costs in accordance with cost causation principles in order to avoid any undue cross-subsidization between rate classes. The SCC is barred from examining other revenue requirement or ratemaking issues in its consideration of the natural gas utility’s application. Costs recovered under this measure shall be in addition to all other costs that the natural gas utility is permitted to recover, shall not be considered an offset to other approved costs of service or revenue requirements, and shall not be included in any computation relative to a performance-based regulation plan revenue-sharing mechanism. The authorization and encouragement of the expansion of natural gas infrastructure and the promotion of the use of natural gas are declared to be in the public interest. Allowing Virginia’s natural gas utilities to approach expansion of intrastate infrastructure into unserved and underserved areas on a more proactive basis by expanding, improving, and increasing the reliability of Virginia’s energy infrastructure is also declared to be in the public interest.