The November 21, 2005, issue of Time profiled John Warner as one of the five best governors in the US. Warner, a Democrat, managed both to cut Virginia's budget by $6 billion, but also to pass a $1.4 billion tax hike, the largest in Virginia's history. Thanks largely to Warner's efforts, Virginia and Utah shared first place in the Government Performance Project's ratings for best-managed state in the country.
Virginia has also been in the news lately thanks to its unprecedented 10-year IT outsourcing deal (subject to approval by state legislators) with Northop Grumman. According to Paul McDougall's excellent November 21, 2005, Information Week article, Northrup Grumman will:
- receive more than $2 billion – along with partners HP and Gateway
- take over the state's mainframe, server, desktop, voice, and data networks
- spend more than $55 million building two data centers
- fund IT education at the University of Virginia
- provide state IT employees with 4% raises and signing bonuses upon transferring to the company
- and retain transferred employees for at least a year.
What's to like? The arrangement should save the state $200 million, upgrade its IT systems, spur economic development and IT education, and save state tech workers' jobs. McDougall's article says that EDS and IBM also competed for the contract and that, unlike the many failed government IT outsourcing efforts in other states and municipalities, Virginia's IT employees and union were consulted and kept in the loop.
Coincidentally, a November 29, 2005, InfoWorld article by Nancy Weil describes "intensifying" legislative efforts aimed at curtailing offshoring. http://www.infoworld.com/article/05/11/29/HNantioffshoring_1.html?source=NLC-BUS2005-11-30