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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

Bills focused on education, economic growth
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Sen. Bill Stanley

Friday, February 7, 2014

By K.A. WAGONER - Staff Writer

State Sen. Bill Stanley (R-Glade Hill) has copatroned a bill that would establish a financial incentive of $1,000 for a student to complete a certificate or license program.

The bill, SB628, would provide the incentive to students to enroll in any community college and successfully complete a noncredit industry-recognized certification or license in a high demand field in the region of the community college.

"Jobs are my number one focus," Stanley said. "To achieve the much needed growth in our economy, we must first ensure that our education systems are providing our children with the skills necessary to prepare them for the future in the modern economy."

"A skilled workforce will attract and retain those businesses that will bring jobs and improved economic growth to our region," he added. "Developing the much needed skill sets in the near term is critical to marketing our region as the place for new business to set up shop."

The bill passed unanimously in the Senate Education and Health and Senate Finance committees. (Any bill that could have a financial impact on the state budget must also be approved by the Finance Committee.)

Another of Stanley's bills, SB168, would help those schools with an assigned letter grade of "C" or less or schools in localities with populations of 50,000 or less by providing for a $5,000 income tax credit for teachers who relocate to these schools to help the teachers defray the cost of moving.

"This is an innovative approach to attract teachers to fill teaching vacancies in rural areas and schools where education standards need to be improved," Stanley said.

This bill passed unanimously in the Senate Finance Committee. The legislation, if passed, would cost an estimated $1 million each year, a limit imposed by the bill, beginning in 2015-16.

The second step in Stanley's approach to stimulate economic growth and stability in the region is to attract new companies to Southside Virginia by rewarding them for investing their capital into existing industrial buildings in this region.

Stanley's bill SB106 would establish a Building Revitalization Grant Fund to award grants of up to $100,000 to businesses that make a capital investment of $1 million in revitalizing or retrofitting existing buildings to serve as a new place of business.

The bill passed the Senate last week with a vote of 37 to 0, and has been sent to the House of Delegates for consideration.

"Southside and Southwest Virginia is poised for a comeback and return to the prior years of growth and economic prosperity," Stanley said. "And education and workplace training must be a primary focus for this to occur. I am very proud to sponsor these bills and I firmly believe that 'if we build it, they will come'."

To contact Stanley in Richmond, call 804-698-7520 or email district20@senate.virginia.gov.

 
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