Report: Governor McDonnell concerned over college costs

Posted at 2:00 PM, Apr 26, 2012
and last updated 2012-04-26 14:00:13-04

Here is the report from WTVR, CBS 6 in Richmond, VA:

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) –Thursday morning during WRVA’s monthly radio segment “Ask the Governor,” Bob McDonnell addressed questions and concerns from callers.  Some of the pressing issues from listeners, centered around helping to make higher education affordable and putting Virginians to work.

Governor McDonnell talked about jobs and the dropping unemployment rate in the state–in fact Virginia ranks 8th in the nation with the lowest unemployment rate.

McDonnell said there is such a thing as creating a blueprint for employment success and it’s centered around helping Virginians become less dependent on the state.  The governor said there is also the need to continue encouraging entrepreneurship to put people to work and to assist those under-employed.

“The unemployment rate is down to 5.6 percent, the lowest in three years,” said Governor McDonnell.  “We’re doing everything we can to focus on getting the private sector back to work so that less people rely on the government.”

Another hot button topic discussed Thursday morning dealt with what the governor calls a “growing crisis,” when it comes to college tuition costs—something President Obama has been touring the country talking about.  Governor McDonnell says when students enter the workplace they should be focused on working and not paying off debt.

“If you come out of college with decades of debt at a 6.8 percent interest rate–while you are trying to look for a job–we just cannot continue to do that,” said Governor McDonnell.  “5.8 percent of our kids have debt of $23,000.”

McDonnell also talked about his upcoming trip to Washington D.C. for the White House Correspondents’ Dinner.  This past year the governor and Virginia lawmakers were the target of late night comedians, notably over abortion and budget issues.  But McDonnell said he is unfazed with what the dinner’s host, comedian Jimmy Kimmel might say about public policies in the Commonwealth.