Thursday 9:30am: Saxman business forum at JMU in search of governing excellence

Chris SaxmanBy Lynn R. Mitchell

I got a call this afternoon from my former state delegate Chris Saxman as he was driving to Virginia Tech for a “Virginia Way – Forward” meeting.

Saxman, who is executive director of the Virginia chapter of the non-partisan, pro-business Foundation for Research and Economic Education (Va FREE), has partnered his group with political science departments at various universities in western Virginia including Virginia Tech and James Madison University (JMU), where a similar meeting will be held Thursday morning, in an effort to develop an accountable standard of governing excellence.

With Virginia’s recent ranking of twelfth place in best states to do business with, a drop from number one during the years of Governor Bob McDonnell and Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling, there is a desire to regain what it was that made the Commonwealth work so well. Reporter Bob Stuart talked with Saxman (see Valley struggles as job creation slows in Virginia):

Former Shenandoah Valley Del. Chris Saxman, now executive director of the nonpartisan and pro-business Virginia FREE, said the state tax code needs to be changed to help startup entrepreneurs.

“Structurally, our tax code is not inviting entrepreneurial growth,” said Saxman. The former Virginia House member said Virginia fares well with the mature companies already here, but does not do enough to help startups.

To use a baseball metaphor, Saxman said for Virginia to improve its team “we have to develop our farm system. That’s our tax code.”

Searching for solutions to governing will be the topic at “The Virginia Way – Forward” to be held Thursday morning at JMU. Confirmed speakers will be Secretary of the Commonwealth Levar Stoney, Delegate Steve Landes who serves as Vice-Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, and former House of Delegates member Pete Giesen who served in the legislature from 1964-1996. The public is invited.

If you’re going:

WHAT: The Virginia Way – Forward
DATE: Thursday, July 9, 2015
TIME: 9:30-11:30am
LOCATION: James Madison University
East Campus Dining Hall / Montpelier Room
Harrisonburg, Virginia

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