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.