Governor Terry McAuliffe was thankful Wednesday night as he discussed his past four years in his last State of the Commonwealth address to lawmakers.
The Governor thanked First Lady Dorothy McAuliffe, Lieutenant Governor and Governor-Elect Ralph Northam and Attorney General Mark Herring.
“I loved every minute working with Ralph and Mark, and I know they will continue that great work alongside (Lieutenant Governor-Elect) Justin Fairfax over the next four years,” Governor McAuliffe said.
The Governor also thanked his Cabinet and entire team, including Finance Secretary Ric Brown, who will soon retire after 47 years of state government service. He recognized the 110,000 Virginia State employees for their hard work. He said, “we are also fortunate for having the greatest first-responders, law enforcement, National Guard, active-duty military and veterans in the nation right here in Virginia.”
As Governor McAuliffe reflected on his legacy, he touted his economic development accomplishments. He said that over the course of his term…
- The State’s unemployment rate fell from 5.4 percent to 3.7 percent
- There are more than 200,000 more jobs than in 2014
- Personal income is up 12.3 percent
- Tourism revenues have grown by 2.2 billion
- Virginia has attracted more than $20 billion in new capital investment
Governor McAuliffe even announced another project – Service Center Metals will invest $45.2 million to expand its manufacturing operation in Prince George County, which will create 58 jobs. Virginia successfully competed against Indiana for the project.
But the Governor said the power of second chances defined his proudest moment in office.
“Many of you have heard me tell the story of standing on the steps of this building and ending more than 100 years of disenfranchisement and racial discrimination,” he said. “Since then, my team has worked with all three branches of government to finalize a process that we have used to restore the (voting) and (other civil) rights of more than 173,000 Virginians, more than any governor in the history of the United States of America!”
Governor McAuliffe added that over the years he’s met with hundreds of men and women whose rights were restored and that they represent a story of hope for a better life.
“That is what citizenship looks like at its very best – and we should work together to encourage more of it, not less,” Governor McAuliffe said.
Governor McAuliffe leaves office Saturday when his successor Ralph Northam will be sworn in.
VACo Contact: Dean Lynch, CAE