It’s been difficult to attract business and provide more opportunities to some of the more economically distressed parts of Virginia, but there’s hope for those areas through the national tobacco settlement. Although the money is being applied to areas within the Commonwealth’s tobacco region, HOW it's being applied will directly impact surrounding areas and indirectly boost the state's economy.
The governor’s speech was not well received in certain circles. Some democrats and economists say McDonnell should not claim credit for low unemployment or another budget surplus.
Under his leadership, the governor says Virginia has created more than 172,000 new jobs and the unemployment rate is just 5.5% -- the lowest in the Southeast. UVA economist Terry Rephan says Virginia does better than other states when it comes to employment, regardless of who is governor.