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Youngkin proposes $500 million for economic development site readiness

Youngkin Executive Order Signature
Steve Helber
Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin prepares to sign executive orders in the governor's conference room at the Capitol, Saturday, Jan. 15, 2022, in Richmond, Va.

Lawmakers are about to consider tripling the state budget line-item for prepping economic development sites.

Governor Glenn Youngkin wants to triple the money invested in economic development for site readiness – essentially getting specific properties available with all the plumbing and curb cuts and electricity needed to sign the contract moving their businesses to Virginia.

"I want made in America to mean made in Virginia," Youngkin says. "That's what we want.”

Former Governor Ralph Northam suggested $150 million for site readiness in his final budget. Now, Governor Glenn Youngkin wants to spend $500 million to make sure these sites are ready for economic development in Virginia.

John Provo is executive director at the Center for Economic and Community Engagement at Virginia Tech.

"We're better at doing sites than we were some number of years ago," Provo explains. "So, there's more structures in place for regional collaboration around sites, which allows us to get to scale but also share the benefits and the burdens of the investment in these things between localities."

The governor's request to triple the amount of money for economic development for site readiness is one line item in a budget that will have to be approved by a Senate controlled by Democrats and a House controlled by Republicans before the governor gets to make his amendments in early 2023.

This report, provided by Virginia Public Radio, was made possible with support from the Virginia Education Association.

Michael Pope is an author and journalist who lives in Old Town Alexandria.