Virginia’s colleges and universities may not get all—if any—of the funds they are requesting for news construction projects.
But the State Council for Higher Education is recommending that lawmakers make maintenance a major priority in the new biennial budget. The Council is also recommending continued funding of "Top Jobs 21"—a major education initiative started by Governor McDonnell.
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.
Revenue that Virginia officials were anticipating from online sales tax legislation in Congress is now in doubt.
Recently the U-S Senate overwhelmingly approved a measure to make it easier for states to collect sales taxes from online purchases. Since then lobbyists for big online retailers and small business owners alike have stormed House office buildings trying to sway your local representatives.
The reason for the intense lobbying effort is that billions of dollars are at stake. Virginia officials expect to reap more than $250-million from online sales tax revenue.