In addition to Bills and Resolutions, Delegate Watson proposed four Budget Amendments in the 2012 session but not without proposing several cost cutting measures as part of the proposals that more than offset the spending requests.
We are happy to report that three out of the four budget amendments passed! The one that didn’t make it was the workforce development program expansion, which I think is a good idea and something that we should be supporting. Hopefully next time it will make it a little further.
Jobs & Education: Jefferson Labs, FEL Upgrade
A 3 million dollar request for a Free Electron Laser (“FEL”) upgrade to support additional research. This upgrade expands the laboratories research capabilities, invites more University, private sector and federal government users and investments while putting Jefferson Lab on a track for a potential Department of Energy grant that could result in as many as 1400 new high paying jobs in Newport News. For more information on the economic benefit realized through JLabs, visit: https://www.jlab.org/economic-impact
Education: College of William and Mary, Brafferton Improvements
The 2nd oldest building at the College of William and Mary has not had a significant upgrade since 1932. Under this amendment, the Commonwealth will match 2.25 million in private funds for this important renovation and upgrade. To learn more the Brafferton, visit: http://www.wm.edu/about/history/historiccampus/brafferton/index.php
Education: College of Williams and Mary, Student Housing (Debt Authorization)
This amendment will not cost the state directly, but is an authorization of one million dollars in debt by the College of William and Mary to complete student housing upgrades. Ultimately, this will be paid through the housing portion of student tuition.
Unfortunately, one budget amendment did not pass this session.
Jobs & Education (Workforce Development): VCCS Non-Credit Course Program
One million dollar request to enhance the Non-Credit Course program through the Virginia Community College System. This program provides unemployed students with the specific skills needed for immediate job openings in Virginia.
For information on this program through Thomas Nelson Community College, visit: http://tncc.edu/business-community/workforce-development/