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The Franklin News-Post
P. O. Box 250
310 Main Street, SW
Rocky Mount, Virginia 24151
540-483-5113
Fax: 540-483-8013

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'Wish list' for legislators should be addressed

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Each year, counties, cities and towns across the state compile a "wish list" for legislators as the General Assembly session nears. One of the main themes of this list in recent years, of course, has been to restore state aid that has been cut. That theme continues this year, with a little more optimism.

Cuts in funding for constitutional officers and for school systems in particular may finally be off the state's agenda. In fact, funding may actually be increased as legislators face a budget session in an economy that has seen some improvement, and even a revenue surplus.

The new year may bring in a ring of optimism, and it certainly comes at a time when local budgets could not realistically be slashed any more without jeopardizing needed services. It's been a rough row to hoe as everyone has been doing more with less.

Part of the legislative wish list package, as usual, includes addressing those unfunded state mandates. That's a continuing problem as the state issues orders, but no money to back them up. Gov. Bob McDonnell has continually stated he wants to do something about this problem, so we will see.

The Governor has been very active in addressing complaints about all of the costly, and mostly unnecessary, state regulations that bog down progress and put financial burdens on localities and businesses. He organized a task force that is supposed to basically help review all regulations and bring some common sense reasoning to whether they are needed and/or overzealous.

Obviously, the bottom line when it comes to economic recovery is the creation of jobs. Franklin County was certainly fortunate in 2012, with expansions at Ply Gem, McAirlaid's and Homestead Creamery. The jobless rate in the county continues to decline, and that in itself is good news.

We want legislators to be partners in job growth and creation, and part of their job is to make sure that happens. So when the General Assembly convenes next week, we hope they take these wish lists seriously. This should have nothing to do with political posturing, and they have to look no farther than to Washington to see how politics wreak havoc on doing what's best for the citizens.

 
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