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BY BILL FREEHLING
Virginia Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling's statewide "Reduce Red Tape" tour stopped in Fredericksburg on Monday.
Bolling is visiting nine areas of Virginia this month to talk to local business executives and elected leaders about how the state can help them start and expand companies.
Monday's stop was at the Fredericksburg Regional Chamber of Commerce's office. Bolling spoke to about 20 invited business, education and government executives.
Much of the discussion Monday revolved around the number of regulations imposed on businesses by local governments. For example, Atlantic Builders CEO Adam Fried wondered why it would take as much as 60 days to receive a permit to build a new home when the design has been in front of local officials many times previously.
Excess red tape at the Virginia Department of Transportation also came up Monday, as Bolling said had been the case at previous stops along his tour. On the controversial matter of interstate tolls, Bolling said he doesn't oppose the idea, but thinks the amount charged needs to be reasonable.
Bolling said in some cases the federal government imposes regulations on state officials. He noted that Virginia has a lot of opportunities to expand its energy sector, but is being held back by federal regulations.
Monday's discussion was far-ranging. Bolling advocated the growth of online and technical education, broadband coverage in rural areas and using incentives when necessary to lure businesses to Virginia.
Bolling is running to be Virginia's next governor. He will face Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli in the Republican primary next year.
Bill Freehling: 540/374-5405