VACo President Tim Reeves kicked off the 2019 County Government Day by encouraging more than 200 County Officials to “make our presence known by boldly sharing our policy priorities with our state legislators.”
County elected officials and staff from all over the Commonwealth convened in Richmond on January 31 to hear Governor Ralph Northam speak and to be briefed by VACo staff on the most pressing issues. County officials then journeyed to the Capitol and advocated on behalf of their localities.
Governor Northam spoke about jobs, education, economic development and transportation.
“In total over the last year, we added about 43,000 new jobs to the Commonwealth of Virginia and over $9 billion in capital investment,” Governor Northam said. “And as you can probably tell, I’m from Rural Virginia so we need to do all we can to lift up Rural Virginia. I’ve taken over 100 trips to Rural Virginia in this first year, and we’ve added 6,100 new jobs and $2.5 billion in capital investments.”
Governor Northam also talked about diversifying the economy and stressed that no region should be dependent on one industry.
“I give you Hampton Roads, where I’m from, as an example — we’re very depended on the military and government contracting. We always will be but we need to, with some urgency, diversify the economy,” Governor Northam said. “How do we do that? We do it by identifying the jobs of the 21st Century, and then training our youth and educating our youth for those jobs.”
VACo staff reported on issues ranging from budget amendments to education funding to taxes to FOIA and transportation.
VACo thanks all its members who participated in the legislative process and made a difference for Virginia’s Counties.