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Gov. McAuliffe visits TCC to announce legislative priorities for veterans and military families

Gov. Terry McAuliffe came to Tidewater Community College on Jan. 6 to announce a legislative package for the 2017 General Assembly session designed to ensure that returning service members and their families are provided every opportunity for success when they settle in the commonwealth.

The package includes initiatives to encourage entrepreneurship among former service members and legislation that will streamline cooperation between civilian and military agencies to better respond to cases of child neglect.

McAuliffe has been a frequent visitor to TCC during his tenure. In December 2014, he announced veteran and military legislative priorities at the Portsmouth Campus.

“Tidewater Community College, and I do not say this lightly, is the greatest community college in America,” he said.

The governor announced two bills aimed to facilitate entrepreneurship for returning service members in Virginia. The two-year pilot program will focus on starting and growing veteran businesses in high-demand sectors such as information technology, cybersecurity, health care and agriculture. The Virginia Veteran Entrepreneurship Grant Fund includes $900,000 for fiscal year 2018.

He also announced legislation to direct civilian child welfare entities to collect military affiliation as a part of child welfare and neglect cases and directs those entities to share pertinent case file information for alleged and founded cases with the appropriate military authorities.

Additionally, following recommendations from the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission (JLARC), the Virginia Veteran and Family Support Program will undergo comprehensive reforms so that it can better serve our men and women in uniform.

In addition to TCC President Edna V. Baehre-Kolovani, joining the governor were Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam; retired Adm. John C. Harvey Jr., Virginia secretary of veterans and defense affairs; Virginia Beach Mayor Will Sessoms and Economic Development Director Warren Harris.