The Last Chapter on the McAuliffe Business Plan
With a week and half left before the primary election, Terry McAuliffe has put out the last chapter of his oft-referenced "Business Plan for Virginia." Chapter Six is entitled "Paying for the Business Plan" and was posted to the campaign's website yesterday, without the accompanying news release that came with chapters one through five.
In the chapter, McAuliffe puts price tags on some of the proposal's he's been touting, identifies some areas of possible cost savings for the state, and prioritizes some of his ideas onto an immediate "to do" list and others onto a "let's get to this when the recession ends" list.
You can read it here.
For instance--a pilot program providing new tax incentives for creating jobs in high needs area? That's an immediate. The campaign estimates 1,000 new jobs could be created for only $300,000, after counting new tax revenue created by those jobs. Paying off the college loans of new teachers who agree to teach in at-risk schools? That one will come after the economy improves and revenues pick up and will cost $10 million a year.
A new challenge grant program that would provide state matching funds to private businesses that partner with community colleges for job training? That's a now, at $2.5 million a year. Expanding health insurance for children and pregnant women by lifting the income restrictions to qualify for the program from 200 percent of the federal poverty line to 300 percent of the poverty line? It'll cost $70 million a year and will come later.
Cost savings proposals include use of new energy-saving technologies to save on utility costs at state buildings, developing "off-the-shelf" blueprints for new schools to save local districts design money and pooling drug purchases between various state agencies that purchase medicine to snag better deals.
The costs of what McAuliffe often touts as his "big, bold" ideas have been a periodic issue during the campaign, including at the race's final debate, when Creigh Deeds used the one question afforded him by debate rules to ask McAuliffe how he would pay for his plans.
There are plenty of ideas in chapters one through five of the business plan not addressed in chapter six, and McAuliffe's opponents are sure to be unsatisfied by his offering on the subject of costs. But none of the three campaigns have explained how they would pay for all of their ideas, and McAuliffe's supporters may well appreciate that he's put forth a few specific thoughts on the subject.
May 30, 2009; 6:00 AM ET
Categories: 2009 Governor's Race , Brian J. Moran , Creigh Deeds , Election 2009 , Rosalind Helderman , Terry McAuliffe
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