Friday, October 31st, 2014

Tracking politicians' promises


Tracking the promises of Gov. Bob McDonnell


Tracking the promises of Gov. Terry McAuliffe

Promises we’ve rated recently

Reform Standards of Learning tests

The Promise:

“We must have a strong system of student achievement and teacher evaluation. Unfortunately our current system isn’t working for parents, students, or teachers. The current Standards of Learning tests have created an environment with an over-emphasis on drilling students to take one-time, multiple-choice tests."

Update July 3rd, 2014: Work is underway

Insist budgets include Medicaid expansion

The Promise:

"I will not sign a budget in Virginia unless the Medicaid expansion is included in the budget."


Update June 20th, 2014: Will sign budget with no Medicaid expansion

Ban gifts for governor and family

The Promise:

Upon taking office, Terry McAuliffe will sign an executive order declaring “all registered lobbyists, principals who have retained registered lobbyists, or all those having business before the Commonwealth or involvement in active procurement will be banned from making any gifts to the Governor, the Governor’s spouse, and any children still residing in the household (excluding informational materials or other items under $50 in value that would assist these officials or their staff in the performance of their duties).”


Update January 17th, 2014: Restrictions in place for a year

Award 100,000 additional degrees

The Promise:

McDonnell's plan for higher education includes "100,000 additional Associates and Bachelors' Degrees over the next 15 years."

Update January 5th, 2014: Promise is on course

Expand incentives for rural health care professionals

The Promise:

"The McDonnell administration will expand loan forgiveness and scholarship programs for health care professionals with an emphasis on placing health care professionals in rural areas."

Update December 16th, 2013: No action

Fund programs based on effectiveness

The Promise:

"Bob McDonnell will improve the budget system by implementing a budget process that rewards effective programs and allocates future spending based upon that effectiveness."

Update December 9th, 2013: Budget program, begun under Kaine, goes online

Seek video streaming of meetings

The Promise:

"Bob McDonnell will have legislation introduced requiring all major executive branch boards and commissions to provide live streaming video on the Commonwealth's web site. Video files will be archived so that citizens can view them at their convenience."

Update December 9th, 2013: No bill posted

Train more doctors to practice in rural areas

The Promise:

"We will offer assistance to the new VCOM in Blacksburg and the Virginia Tech Carilon School of Medicine in Roanoke, to train more doctors and nurses to practice in rural Virginia."

Update December 2nd, 2013: Never happened

Consolidate guides for business creation and expansion

The Promise:

Virginia has four different types of publications to help create and expand a business...As governor, Bob McDonnell will combine all resources into one updated manual.

Update December 2nd, 2013: McDonnell changes his approach

Conserve 400,000 acres

The Promise:

“As governor, I will do so by ensuring we conserve another 400,000 acres by the conclusion of my term in January 2014.”


Update November 25th, 2013: Results fall far short

Establish a health sciences high school

The Promise:

"In cooperation with our universities and community colleges, Bob McDonnell will establish at least one Virginia Health Sciences High School (academy or Governor's school) to specifically prepare students for further study in nursing, medical technology, pharmacy, medical equipment specialties and veterinary or medical school."

Update November 18th, 2013: Eight health science academies up and running

Promote health savings accounts

The Promise:

"We will publish a list of all insurers who offer health savings accounts." 

Update November 18th, 2013: List of HSA insurers was never created

Increase penalty for sexual battery of children

The Promise:

McDonnell will elevate sexual battery, when the crime is committed by force or where the offender is an adult and the victim is three years younger, to a Class 6 felony.

Update November 11th, 2013: No action

Increase tax credit for long-term health insurance

The Promise:

"As governor, Bob McDonnell will provide for an increase in the refundable tax credit for purchase of long term health insurance."

Update August 22nd, 2013: Legislature thwarts promise

More money to free clinics and community health care centers

The Promise:

"The McDonnell administration will increase the funding provided to Virginia Community Health Centers and free clinics."

Update July 1st, 2013: Contrary to pledge, McDonnell sought to cut funding for free clinics