When Bob McDonnell was sworn in as governor of Virginia in January, the Republican promised to focus on jobs, and he quickly named Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling the state's "chief jobs creation officer."
Eight months later, Virginia's 7 percent unemployment rate is well below the national average of 9.6 percent, and the state boasts that it has added more than 71,500 jobs since the start of the year.
"What we've tried to do in Virginia is make sure that we have the most business-friendly environment in the country," Bolling said.
Virginia's policies, which the Republican lieutenant governor identified as "pro-business," include "low and competitive tax rates" and "favorable regulatory structure." Virginia also is a right-to-work state, which keeps union membership among the workforce at about 4 percent.
"If we really want to get the national economy moving again," Washington needs to embrace pro-business policies, Bolling said.
Bolling, the son of a coal miner, said that dozens of business executives he's met with this year have complained about federal mandates, including the recently passed health care reform bill and environmental regulations. He said the executives also noted that tax and spending policies and potential energy legislation have created uncertainty.
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