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McAuliffe to Introduce Legislation for Reform of the Virginia Economic Development Partnership

AP Photo / Steve Helber

Virginia’s governor is suggesting changes to how the state doles out economic development money. The proposals come after investigators blasted the Economic Development Partnership for mismanagement. 

This year, Virginia spent more than $67 million helping bring in and support businesses. But it did so with little oversight, leaving the state vulnerable to fraud and mismanagement -- that’s according to a report presented to lawmakers last month.

Read More: VEDP Brings in New Leadership

Now the Governor wants to fix that. He’s calling for the creation of two new departments: one to track incentive dollars after they’re spent, and another to conduct occasional audits. That will likely come with a price tag, but… says Governor Terry McAuliffe:

“The taxpayers should know how their money is being used, and more importantly, what is their return on investment.”

He’s also suggesting making the Secretary of Commerce and Trade permanent chair of VEDP, expanding his and future governors’ control over the operation.

“The administration will also be more accountable for failures of policy and oversight that presently fall between several administration and other branches of the government.”

McAuliffe’s suggestions now head to lawmakers, who get their say on how best to revamp the system.

Mallory Noe-Payne is a Radio IQ reporter based in Richmond.