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Virginia Democrats Unveil Plan To Create, Enhance Jobs

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By Tommie McNeil, Virginia Public Radio

Senate Democrats in Virginia say their nine-point "Our Jobs Now" package is even more aggressive and comprehensive than Gov. Bob McDonnell's proposal.

The plan uses some of the governor's proposals but boosts allocations for several. The senators say the difference is their plan does not cut public safety and education funding. One bill would study the effectiveness of the state's current economic development efforts. Sen. Roscoe Reynolds proposes a plan to keep Virginia jobs.

"This legislation creates a preference for Virginia's businesses when the Commonwealth contracts for goods and services. This will assure that more tax-payer dollars will be earmarked for Virginia businesses," he says.

And Sen. Mary Margaret Whipple is sponsoring a bill to help employers avoid lay-offs.

"By temporarily reducing the hours for everyone, and then the unemployment insurance fund would help pay the differential in wages for those who are now working, let's say, 80 percent time," she says.

Whipple says it reduces the amount of unemployment benefits paid to workers who would have been laid-off. Other proposals include providing training in specific industries and more incentives for business expansion.

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