U.S. Chamber's Enterprising States Study: A Guide For Struggling States
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The economic recovery has been underway for a year and a half but the unemployment rate is still high, job creation is low, and workforce participation is at its lowest rate in a quarter of a century. With a projected $112 billion budget shortfall for 2012 in 44 states, governors need to act fast to aid recovery. Luckily, the Chamber of Commerce's 2011 Enterprising States study provides governors with a guide to help overturn this crisis. According to the Washington Post, the foundation of these strategies focus on efforts to redesign government with measures that reduce excessive debt and implement enterprise-friendly initiatives, both to help create jobs and promote economic growth.
The Washington Post states:
One of the best examples of this success is in Delaware. While confronted with more than a $300 million deficit early in 2011, the state now finds itself with a surplus of about $320 million and is deciding how to balance the allocation of these surplus funds between tax reductions and targeted investments.
To the south, Virginia entered 2010 facing a daunting budget deficit approaching nearly $2 billion for 2012. Forced into action, Gov. Robert F. McDonnell (R) and the Virginia General Assembly were able to close the gap with a budget package centered on steep cuts to government programs and services, accessing rainy day funds, new fee structures and changes to contribution rates and pension structures for Virginia state employees. As a result of these diverse changes the assembly’s 2011 session was able to convene in Richmond with a surplus estimated at up to $400 million.
These actions in Richmond happened in concert with a variety of statewide programs to advance research and development. For example, the Virginia Innovation Partnership is a grant for “translational research,” that leads to potential technology commercialization and job creation. The funding is intended to spur public-private collaboration, support small tech start-ups and attract companies from outside the commonwealth to relocate, bringing new high-tech jobs to the area.
Read more about The Chamber of Commerce's efforts to help states with economic recovery.