Archive for October 2008
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
October 14, 2008
Budget Flashback: House Republicans Proven Clueless on Jobs
GOP Claimed Qimonda was ‘in Virginia to stay’
This week’s announcement that a computer chip manufacturer in Henrico County will be laying off over a thousand workers shouldn’t have surprised members of the House of Delegates – they were warned this would happen eight months ago.
Gov. Kaine’s proposed budget this year would have accelerated almost $14 million in grant payments due to Qimonda AG for meeting investment and job creation criteria under the Semiconductor Memory or Logic Wafer Manufacturing Performance Grant Program II.
Unfortunately, the Republican-controlled House Appropriations committee removed this provision, leading to an objection from Henrico Delegate Joe Morrissey on the House floor during the February floor debate. [HB30, Item 105 #1h, 2/21/08]
Del. Morrissey argued that the grant acceleration was needed to help Qimonda keep pace in the “ultra-competitive” field of chip manufacturing. He added that the company has invested $3.2 billion and 2,700 jobs in Henrico County while contributing $192 million in tax revenue.
Del. Morrissey specifically warned that “over a thousand jobs” may be lost if the request was delayed.
In response, GOP Whip Kirk Cox said that “I met with the representatives of Qimonda who were very clear with me that they would love to have this, but they are here in Virginia to stay.”
Henrico County Delegates Bill Janis, John O’Bannon, Riley Ingram, and Jimmie Massie voted with Cox to deny the grant acceleration, along with Richmond Delegate Manoli Loupassi and Republican Caucus Chairman Sam Nixon and Lee Ware of Chesterfield County.
Yesterday, Qimonda announced that it will be cutting 40 percent of its Henrico work force, leaving 1,200 employees out of work by January. Today’s Richmond Times-Dispatch reports that the company’s future is “uncertain.”
“House Republicans, like their brethren in Washington D.C., have once again proven that they have no clue what middle-class men and women are facing,” said Del. Joe Morrissey. “They turned the other way when Virginia workers needed help. President Bush’s economic policies may not trickle down to the middle-class, but his ideas have certainly trickled down to Virginia Republicans.”
The full, five-minute exchange on the budget amendment can be viewed below: