McAuliffe touts first 100 day successes, no mention of shutdown - NBC12 - Richmond, VA News

McAuliffe touts first 100 day successes, no mention of shutdown scenario

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On Day 101 of Gov. Terry McAuliffe at the helm, Virginia's 72nd governor gave the thumbs up to a sea of supporters, as a potential shutdown scenario in the Commonwealth looms.

The Governor addressed a crowd at the Virginia State Library Monday morning, recapping 100 days of courting ambassadors, to cutting costs for EZ Pass customers.

But in one of the address's more dramatic moments, Gov. McAuliffe contrasted what he described as "100 days of action," with inaction at the State Capitol. Virginia's budget remains threatened by stalemate, concerning whether or not to expand Medicaid.

"It is not only morally the right thing to do, it is financially the right thing to do," said McAuliffe on Medicaid expansion. "Let us redouble our efforts on behalf of those 400,000 Virginians who are counting on us. Let us close the healthcare coverage gap."

No mention was made about a possible shutdown situation, one that would unfold in 70 days if lawmakers fail to reach a budget agreement. A spending plan must be approved by July 1, in order for Virginia's government to continue to function.

In an email Monday, a spokesman for House Speaker William J. Howell (R-Stafford) reflected on the uncertainty the standoff has caused across the Commonwealth.

"[Democrats] are creating tremendous uncertainty for local governments, school boards and the business community, as well as threatening Virginia's prestigious AAA bond rating," wrote spokesman Matthew Moran. "The clear path forward is for the State Senate to separate Medicaid expansion from budget deliberations."

McAuliffe's address highlighted how high tech jobs have been created within the Commonwealth since his administration began, specifically mentioning efforts to keep a Hopewell ethanol factory from being shipped piece-by-piece to England.

"My secretary of commerce asked me if I would write a letter to a board meeting, to encourage them to stay," McAuliffe said. "I don't do letters, I'm going to call, I want to attend that board meeting."

Vireol, a British biofuels company, is now adding 70 jobs to Hopewell's economy by keeping the ethanol plant open.  McAuliffe said in total, 5,000 jobs have been added in Virginia during his first 100 days.

Pivoting to social issues, McAuliffe said that 800 felons have had their rights restored since he took office. The figure is higher than any previous number reported during a Virginia governor's first 100 days.

McAuliffe recently facilitated the process of felons' restoration of rights, allowing voting privileges to return faster once prison terms have been served.

The event also credited the efforts of First Lady Dorothy McAuliffe, who said she is working to ensure no child in Virginia goes to school hungry.

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