The Newsletter of TechPAC and NVTC

January 16, 2009


In This Issue
Governor Kaine Presents State of the Commonwealth as Legislative Session Begins
Delegate Ken Plum Elected House Democratic Caucus Chair
NVTC Hosts Senators and Delegates Prior to Opening of Legislative Session
Heard At the Legislature


Governor Kaine Presents State of the Commonwealth as Legislative Session Begins
Governor Tim Kaine delivered his State of the Commonwealth speech on Wednesday, January 14th, marking the first day of the 2009 Legislative Session. During the course of the speech:
  • Kaine announced he wanted to quickly put people to work on large infrastructure investments. He set a goal of putting 30 state projects worth $250 million to bid before June 30, 2009.
  • He indicated that while his budget proposes deeper cuts to higher education in 2010, it proposes "a lesser cut for community colleges — the most affordable point of entry into Virginia's higher education system." His budget also proposes an additional $26 million for need-based financial aid.
  • Kaine is asking for an additional $5 million for the Governor's Opportunity Fund to attract businesses to Virginia.
  • Kaine said it was essential that Virginia focus on industries of the future, and to this end he has proposed a major investment in green jobs and has created Renew Virginia, which will encompass his efforts in renewable energy, energy conservation, and green jobs. Under the banner of Renew Virginia:
    • The Governor created the Interagency Task Force for Energy Project Recruitment to work with the Virginia Economic Development Partnership to build Virginia's compelling case for renewable energy-related businesses. The task force will include state agencies, university research centers, and federal laboratories based in Virginia.
    • The Governor said that a collaboration between technology-based economic development organizations and the state's universities will develop a single internet portal for investors to understand the wide variety of research being done on Virginia campuses and how they can invest and help bring these new technologies to market.
    • In an effort to help new companies grow and to make Virginia an attractive place to relocate existing green companies, the Governor is proposing an expansion of existing incentives for solar manufacturers to include new plants that make other alternative energy equipment and products.
    • The Governor is seeking to expand the market for new energy companies through targeted tax reductions that make residential alternative-energy installations more affordable by providing an income tax credit on solar photovoltaic, solar thermal, and wind-powered electric generators installed in homes or businesses in the Commonwealth.
NVTC's public policy team is now in Richmond for the duration of the legislative session. NVTC is committed to ensuring that critical funding for education and technology is kept in place and that Northern Virginia's technology community is protected during the downturn.

Governor's State of the Commonwealth Speech


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Delegate Ken Plum Elected House Democratic Caucus Chair
Long-time Tech Champion Delegate Ken Plum (D–Reston) was chosen as Chairman of House Democratic Caucus this week. Plum succeeds recently retired House Democratic Caucus Chair Delegate Brian Moran (D–Alexandria). Delegate Kris Amundson (D–Mt. Vernon) and Delegate Jennifer McClellan (D–Richmond) were selected as House Democratic Caucus Vice Chairs.

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NVTC Hosts Senators and Delegates Prior to Opening of Legislative Session
NVTC TechPAC, the Northern Virginia technology community’s Political Action Committee, just wrapped up an extraordinarily busy and productive year.

In calendar year 2008, TechPAC's 24 Trustees:
  • raised over $100,000 in new contributions from NVTC's membership
  • hosted a series of meetings with legislative leaders from Northern Virginia and throughout the state to discuss the policy priorities of Northern Virginia's technology community
  • contributed over $50,000 to pro-technology General Assembly candidates
During the last two months alone, the TechPAC Board of Trustees hosted meetings to discuss NVTC's legislative agenda with House of Delegates Speaker Bill Howell (R-Fredericksburg), Senate Democratic Caucus Chair Mary Margaret Whipple (D-Arlington), Senate Finance Chair Chuck Colgan (D–Manassas), Senate Privileges and Elections Committee Chair Janet Howell (D-Reston), Senate Minority Leader Tommy Norment (R-Williamsburg), Senate Republican Leader Emeritus Walter Stosch (R-Glen Allen), Senator Ken Stolle (R-Virginia Beach), Senator William Wampler (R-Bristol) and Senator Jill Holtzman Vogel (R-Winchester). Issues raised in these meetings ranged from transportation funding challenges to green technology initiatives to preserving critical funding for higher education and technology research.

More information: www.nvtctechpac.org


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Heard At the Legislature

"While government action is necessary, it will be the entrepreneurial spirit of our people that will turn this economy around. Those who dare to take risks will create the new companies and the new jobs. Workers with dedication to hard work will continue to make our companies the best in the world. Our job is to allow that creativity, that risk-taking, that dedication, to flourish. Our job is to create the environment in which our citizens can succeed."
– Governor Tim Kaine, January 14, 2009, Richmond


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