NVTC's 2012 General Assembly Session Wrap-Up

General Assembly Approves NVTC Priorities Including Expanded Data Center Incentives, Extension of Technology Investment Tax Exemption and Telework Tax Credit

On March 10, the Virginia General Assembly adjourned sine die concluding its 2012 legislative session. During the 60-day long session, the General Assembly tackled more than 2,000 bills and resolutions related to a broad array of important issues, including Gov. Bob McDonnell's legislative initiatives addressing job creation and economic development, research and innovation, government reform and education.

The General Assembly approved several NVTC priorities that will ensure that Virginia remains a top state for business and a global technology center, including passing legislation that expands data center incentives and Gov. McDonnell's proposals to extend a technology investment tax exemption and telework tax credit.

Legislators were unable to reach consensus on a new, two-year budget during the regular legislative session and were forced to convene for a special session to consider budget bills. On May 14, the legislature finalized the budget, passing Gov. McDonnell's amendments to the $85 billion two-year budget.

NVTC maintained a full-time presence in Richmond throughout the legislative session to actively advocate on behalf of Northern Virginia's technology community. NVTC's public policy advocacy was supplemented by strong participation from NVTC Board members and other leaders during NVTC's Board Advocacy Day on February 16, 2012. In addition, many more NVTC members provided ongoing advice and feedback through NVTC's weekly legislative conference calls, Twitter feed (@NVTCTechPolitic) and LinkedIn Public Policy Forum. For more information about NVTC's advocacy efforts, including additional details on the policies and initiatives listed below, visit www.nvtc.org/advocacy.

New Funding and Policy Initiatives
NVTC is pleased to report that the following NVTC priorities were approved by the General Assembly and signed by the governor:

Data Center Sales Tax Exemption Expansion
Legislation to enhance Virginia's statewide competitiveness in attracting data center jobs and investment by expanding Virginia's current data center sales tax exemption to also include data center tenants. (HB 216 - Delegate Comstock; SB 112 - Sens. Herring and McDougle)

Capital Gains Exemption Extension
Legislation extending Virginia's capital gains exemption for investors in technology startups through June 30, 2015. The credit was set to expire on June 30, 2013. The exemption was initially passed in 2010 to boost Virginia's competitiveness in attracting investors by providing a three-year 100 percent state capital gains tax exclusion for investment in qualified technology startups. (HB 1013 - Delegate Comstock; SB 226 - Sen. Herring)

Telework Tax Credit Extension
Legislation extending the telework tax credit for employers through December 31, 2016. The credit was set to expire December 31, 2013. The General Assembly first enacted this tax credit in 2011 with strong NVTC support to assist companies in defraying costs associated with establishing or expanding a telework program. (HB 551 - Delegate Comstock; SB 238 - Sen. Herring)

Virginia's Representation on the Metropolitan
Washington Airports Authority (MWAA) Board Legislation providing Virginia greater representation on the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA) Board, in line with recently enacted federal legislation. (HB 252 - Delegate May; HB 1245 - Delegate May; SB 237 - Sen. Colgan)

Virginia's Veteran Workforce
Legislation to assist Virginia's veteran workforce by permitting service members to count their military training, education or experience in qualifying for occupational licenses or certification for state-regulated professions and also to require public colleges and universities in Virginia to award academic credit for educational experience gleaned from military service. (HB 195 - Delegate Lewis; HB 938 - Delegate Lingamfelter)
   NVTC will be actively participating this year in a governor's working group, which will determine how best to address the needs of returning veterans and help them transition into Virginia's workforce.

2012 General Assembly Session
NVTC Board member and Acentia CEO Todd Stottlemyer and NVTC President and CEO Bobbie Kilberg sit with
Gov. Bob McDonnell at an NVTC technology bill signing ceremony at Acentia headquarters on May 29.
Back row (L-R): Secretary of Commerce and Trade Jim Cheng, Delegates Mark Keam, Tag Greason,
Barbara Comstock and Jim LeMunyon, Sen. Ryan McDougle, Delegate David Ramadan,
Sen. Mark Herring, Delegate Randy Minchew and Secretary of Technology Jim Duffey.
Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP) Board
Legislation expanding the board of directors for the Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP) by adding the Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry and the Secretary of Technology as voting members. (HB 292 - Delegate Scott)

Local Government Regulatory Flexibility for Defense Contractors
Legislation authorizing a local government to provide incentives and regulatory flexibility to defense contractors located within a defense production and support services zone. The bill defines defense contractors as businesses primarily engaged in providing services in support of national defense. (HB 406 - Delegate Torian)

Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport
Legislation instituting board and governance reforms for the Virginia Commercial Space Flight Authority and providing a mechanism for funding improvements through the Virginia Transportation Trust Fund. (HB 813 - Delegate May; SB 284 - Sen. Herring)

Research and Commercialization Funding
Provides $16 million in new funding over two years for the Commonwealth Research Commercialization Fund (CRCF) to facilitate growth and development of the technology industry in the Commonwealth, accelerate entrance of new products and services to the market, incentivize collaboration between institutions of higher education and companies engaged in research in high-growth, emerging industries, match federal SBIR grants for Virginia companies and invest through the CIT GAP Funds in seed-stage firms and university spin-outs with a high potential for successful commercialization, rapid growth and downstream private equity financing.

R&D Tax Credit
Allocates $5 million in annual funding for Virginia's refundable research and development (R&D) tax credit.

Angel Investment Tax Credit
Increases the annual cap to $4 million in annual funding to support Virginia's Angel Investor Tax Credit to encourage continued investment in early-stage technology startups in the Commonwealth.

Cybersecurity and Modeling and Simulation Initiatives
Provides $2 million in new funding over the next two years to launch new cybersecurity and modeling and simulation initiatives to build upon existing initiatives by fostering innovative partnerships in Virginia, leveraging university and industry resources, and aligning assets with emerging and expanding outreach activities. Together, these two initiatives will provide a focused effort on further growing Virginia jobs and investment in these industry sectors.

2012 General Assembly Session
During NVTC's Board Day in Richmond on February 16, NVTC members met with Sens. Chuck Colgan and Mark Herring (pictured above), Delegates Tag Greason, Dave Albo and Barbara Comstock (pictured below), members of Gov. McDonnell's administration and 23 other legislative leaders to discuss technology business issues.
2012 General Assembly Session
STEM Education
IT Academy
Allocates $3 million over two years for an IT Academy to help grow Virginia's science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) workforce through a formal online curriculum that prepares students to pass Microsoft industry certification exams. Through a statewide agreement, this curriculum has been made available to every high school student, their parents and all high school faculty and staff.

SySTEMic Solutions
Provides $1 million in funding over two years to expand the Northern Virginia Community College's SySTEMic Solutions workforce program beyond Prince William County/Manassas to include Fairfax, Loudoun, Arlington and Alexandria. SySTEMic Solutions is a collaborative arrangement among school divisions, higher education institutions and employers to develop a sustainable STEM workforce pipeline.

STEAM Academy
Allocates $200,000 for a feasibility plan focused on establishing a science, technology, engineering and applied mathematics (STEAM) residential school in Virginia.

Thomas Jefferson High School
Boosts funding by $73,400 in 2013 to support an additional 50 students at the Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology Governor's School.