Gov. Bob McDonnell announced Friday that he has created a task force to look for ways to diversify an economy that relies heavily on federal contractors and the military, particularly in Northern Virginia.
The executive order follows his decision last month to request $30 million from a half-billion budget surplus to offset future federal cuts.
Moody's Investors Service confirmed the state's AAA rating this month, but Virginia remains on a watch list for 90 days as the agency evaluates the state's finances after the unprecedented downgrade of the nation’s credit rating.
“As Washington looks to rein in its out-of-control spending and identify where much-needed cuts can be made, we must be prepared for inevitable spending cuts impacting federal contractors, which are a large economic driver in the commonwealth,’’ McDonnell (R) said.
The task force will be led by Lt. Gov Bill Bolling, who serves as the state’s chief jobs creation officer. Other members include Cabinet secretaries and economic development leaders.
“While we all recognize that spending reductions will be necessary to help address federal budget deficits, we want to make certain that we do everything we can to position Virginia to manage these cuts and their impact on our economy and take full advantage of the potential consolidation of federal services and programs that could arise out of these cuts,’’ Bolling said.