Senate Democrats Respond to Chamber of Commerce Press Conference


    ( – promoted by lowkell)

    Budget negotiations won’t harm Virginia’s positive business climate – but the torrent of divisive social legislation already has.

    A few Virginia business groups held a press conference today calling on Virginia’s legislature to pass a budget.

    Whether or not the Senate passes a budget by Saturday, our state’s finances – and local businesses – will be stable and secure. State funding for the current year is stable through July 1. That’s 116 days from now. From 2000 to today, the General Assembly missed its scheduled budget deadline seven times, without causing harm to Virginia’s businesses.

    Actually, it is the Republicans’ extreme social-issue agenda has hurt business by making headlines around the world and embarrassed Virginia. “As members of the business community around the state have said, the obsessive focus on divisive social issues may hurt Virginia’s ability to recruit businesses and talent to our state. Just in case anyone has forgotten, these are the same Republicans who have suppressed voting, mandated ultrasounds, and made it easier for criminals to buy handguns. It only took them six weeks to turn the Best Managed State into a national laughingstock,” said Senator A. Donald McEachin (D-Henrico).

    Recent history proves that local businesses have not been significantly affected by previous disagreements over the budget.

    – In 2004, disagreement between the House and the Senate meant the budget was not resolved for almost two months past the Senate’s scheduled deadline. The final budget, agreed on over 50 days late, actually strengthened the state’s AAA bond rating, and Virginia’s economy grew that year.

    – In 2006, no budget was agreed upon for 102 days, more than 3 months past the Senate’s scheduled deadline. Again, the state’s AAA bond rating was stable, and in August Forbes magazine rated Virginia the “Best Managed State.”

    – In 2008, every single Republican Senator voted against the budget, disagreeing with Democrats over pre-kindergarten funding and pay raises for public employees.

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