Tracking the promises of Gov. Bob McDonnell

Browse the Bob-O-Meter:


PolitiFact Virginia has compiled promises that Bob McDonnell made during the 2010 campaign and is tracking their progress on our Bob-O-Meter.

We rate their status as Not Yet Rated, In the Works or Stalled. Once we find action is completed, we rate them Promise Kept, Compromise or Promise Broken. (See our About the Bob-o-Meter page for details on our ratings.)

The report card at right provides an up-to-the-minute tally of all the promises.

Promises we’ve rated recently

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

Increase funding for Virginia Teaching Scholarship Program

The Promise:

Over the course of the McDonnell administration, we will increase the amount of funding available for the Virginia Teaching Scholarship Program and set aside a portion of the funds specifically for STEM and career technical education shortage areas.

Update May 19th, 2013: Plan alters for recruiting STEM teachers

Reduce still births, low birth weights and improve child health care

The Promise:

"By maintaining (Medicaid) eligibility for pregnant mothers at current levels and promoting education and care for pregnant mothers, we will reduce low birth weights, still births, and long-term health issues for children who will be enrolled after birth in Medicaid programs."

Update May 12th, 2013: Birth weights are up, stillbirths down

Appoint public school turnaround leader

The Promise:

As governor, Bob McDonnell will appoint a public school turnaround leader, at the Department of Education, whose sole mission will be to focus on the underperforming schools and set in motion urgent plans to eliminate obstacles to success.

Update April 22nd, 2013: Plan goes through changes