January 7, 2013

In This Issue

2013 Legislative Session Convenes in Richmond

NVTC Outlines 2013 Legislative Priorities

Stay Connected with NVTC's Advocacy Team in Richmond

2013 Legislative Session Convenes in Richmond

Tomorrow marks the first day of the 2013 Legislative Session of the Virginia General Assembly. This year's 46-day "short" session is scheduled to conclude on Saturday, Feb. 23.

Tomorrow evening, Gov. Bob McDonnell will deliver his 2013 State of the Commonwealth Address to the Joint Houses of the General Assembly at 7 p.m. A webcast of the governor's address will be available on the state's website.

More than 620 legislative bills have already been submitted for consideration in the General Assembly and many more will be introduced over the next two weeks. Legislators also will spend the coming weeks deliberating over amendments to the FY 2013-2014 biennial budget submitted by Gov. McDonnell.

The House of Delegates and Senate will offer live streaming video of the 2013 Legislative Session, broadcasting from each chamber every day of the session.

House Video Stream

Senate Video Stream

NVTC is also in the process of compiling an expansive bill tracking index for select bills of interest to NVTC members. Using this platform, the technology community will be able to track legislation as it progresses through the Legislative Session and comment on bills. The tracker will be available via NVTC's 2013 General Assembly Session page.

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NVTC Outlines 2013 Legislative Priorities

On Friday, Jan. 4, NVTC Chairman Brad Antle, president and CEO of Salient Federal Solutions, and NVTC President and CEO Bobbie Kilberg sent letters to all members of the General Assembly and to the governor, lieutenant governor, Cabinet members and other senior officials of the McDonnell administration outlining NVTC's 2013 legislative priorities. While the letter acknowledges that policymakers will be making many difficult decisions in adopting budget amendments and policies that meet Virginia's needs and address current revenue challenges, it also highlights the critical nature of further advancing the gains Virginia has made in building a globally branded technology business climate in 2013 budget and policy actions.

To review a copy of NVTC's 2013 Legislative Agenda, please click here.

The letter urges policymakers to support the following objectives and priorities:
  • Create jobs and investment by strengthening and diversifying Virginia’s technology economy through a dual emphasis strategy that:

      • Enhances Virginia's ability to attract mature companies that are seeking to expand, relocate, move corporate headquarters and establish research operations, and

      • Supports a comprehensive "grow your own" strategy for new company formation to position Virginia as a leader in next-generation technology company formation and innovation, as well as a top destination for entrepreneurs, early-stage investors, researchers and innovators.

    • Maintain current annual funding for Virginia's Commonwealth Research Commercialization Fund (CRCF) at $4.2 million to 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 and provide new resources to attract and retain eminent researchers at Virginia universities.

    • Maintain current annual funding for the CIT GAP Funds at $3.8 million to provide seed-stage equity investments in Virginia-based technology, clean tech and life science companies with a high potential for achieving rapid growth and generating significant economic return for entrepreneurs, co-investors and the Commonwealth of Virginia.

    • Maintain current annual funding for Virginia's R&D tax credit at $5 million to ensure Virginia’s competitiveness in promoting innovation and job creation across the Commonwealth and to boost industry-sponsored research and collaboration with Virginia universities.

    • Increase funding for the Virginia Angel Investment Tax Credit to align funding for the tax credit with demand for the credit to ensure current and future investors receive the value of the incentive they are expecting when they make early-stage investment in small technology startups and university spinouts located in the Commonwealth. Growth in investor applications is a positive indicator that the credit is succeeding in growing and diversifying Virginia’s technology economy by encouraging entrepreneurs to locate in Virginia and by encouraging investors to invest in Virginia technology startups.

    • Provide additional state support for university research and commercialization efforts.

    • Leverage Virginia's federal, state and private sector assets to position and promote Virginia as the go-to location for cybersecurity, Big Data, cloud-focused businesses and other sectors where Virginia has a competitive advantage.

      • Maintain current budget funding to leverage Virginia's federal, state and private cybersecurity and modeling and simulation assets to expand the Commonwealth's efforts to target increased jobs and investment by these quickly growing industries.

      • Invest state funds to launch the nation's first cybersecurity accelerator to focus exclusively on cybersecurity company creation and produce 10 to 20 new companies per year to add to Virginia’s cyber assets and capabilities. After a two-year startup period, this initiative will be self-funded.

      • Direct $5 million from Virginia’s FACT Fund to the CRCF to stimulate multi-university and industry cooperative cyber research projects focused on developing new cybersecurity solutions. By sponsoring this type of research project, the Commonwealth will enable scientific discovery for industry application and create a pipeline of graduates with advanced degrees in related fields.

      • Provide for a separate personal property tax classification for computer equipment used in data centers so localities may have the option to boost their competitiveness for data center jobs and investment.

  • Ensure Virginia maintains its status as a top state for business by minimizing taxes and regulation, preserving right to work and avoiding negative signals that drive private enterprise away from the Commonwealth.

  • Boost Virginia’s technology workforce by awarding cumulative 100,000 additional undergraduate degrees by 2025 with emphasis throughout the education pipeline on high-income, high-demand sectors, such as science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), and analytics.

    • Grow Virginia's STEM workforce by increasing STEM focus in K-12, providing incentives and additional compensation to help attract and retain quality STEM teachers, and implementing additional STEM programs for Virginia students.

    • Develop and launch a targeted workforce initiative to provide training and jobs for veterans returning to Virginia after active duty.

    • Provide Virginia's institutions of higher education with maximum flexibility in managing their operations including the ability to set tuition and fees.

    • Continue to implement incentive-driven funding to advance the next stage of Virginia's Top Jobs initiative to provide for an additional 100,000 undergraduate degrees for Virginians over the next 15 years with an emphasis on STEM degrees.

  • Improve commute times and reduce traffic delays by addressing Virginia's transportation challenges, utilizing intelligent transportation solutions and promoting telework.

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Stay Connected with NVTC's Advocacy Team in Richmond

NVTC maintains a full-time presence in Richmond during the legislative session, and we welcome your feedback. Feel free to contact us at any time with questions, ideas or suggestions:

NVTC Vice President of Policy Josh Levi (jlevi@nvtc.org 703-268-5140)

NVTC Public Policy Manager Joe Vidulich (jvidulich@nvtc.org 703-268-5135)

NVTC members are encouraged to visit NVTC's 2013 General Assembly Session page for information about the ongoing legislative session in Richmond. There, members will be able to join the NVTC Public Policy Forum group on LinkedIn, where they can exchange ideas and provide feedback and direction to NVTC's advocacy team on critical policy issues affecting the Northern Virginia technology community.

NVTC's members will also be able to participate in weekly legislative conference calls with the NVTC advocacy team. Beginning Friday, Jan. 18, and recurring each Friday afternoon at 4 p.m. through Feb. 22, these calls offer a valuable opportunity to stay connected to what's going on in Richmond and provide advice and feedback to NVTC leaders and staff. Please send an email to Joe Vidulich (jvidulich@nvtc.org) if you would like to receive notice and call-in information for NVTC's weekly conference calls.

For more information about NVTC's advocacy efforts, please visit us online at www.nvtc.org/advocacy and follow us on Twitter @NVTCTechPolitic. You can also learn more about NVTC TechPAC, the Northern Virginia technology community's state-level PAC at: www.nvtctechpac.org.

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