Lawmakers from the Southwest corner of Virginia are disappointed this week after Governor Terry McAuliffe vetoed a bill that would have created a new economic development initiative to help out-of-work coal miners.
Virginia coal country is down on its luck. Many of those mines that once created a livelihood for families in the southwest part of the state are now closed. And Lenowisco planning district director Duane Miller says he’s disappointed the governor rejected a proposal to spend half a million dollars on a new economic development initiate to market this area in Europe and Asia.
“The initiative is still going to continue and utilize other state and private funds to continue with it but probably for a smaller footprint now.”
Delegate Terry Kilgore says he’s hopeful that private funds will be able to make up at least some of the difference.
“We’ve got all these coal miners who are now out of work who have skills that would be great for advanced manufacturing companies. Well we’ve got to get those manufacturing companies to come from Asia or Europe.”
The governor said he was concerned creating a separate economic development initiative would duplicate existing efforts of other state agencies.