The Newsletter of TechPAC and NVTC

January 23, 2009


The General Assembly convened on Wednesday, January 14, 2009, and is now in full swing with over 2000 bills introduced to date and a flurry of committee activity as legislators digest and act on various proposals and initiatives.

Technology Policy

Legislators have introduced many legislative proposals in the area of technology policy including bills to:
  • Specifically target Virginia's Angel Investor Tax Credit to encourage investments in small technology, biotechnology and alternative energy companies
  • Merge the Virginia Research Technology Advisory Commission and the Innovative Technology Authority into a new entity with heightened oversight over state R&D efforts including the development of a comprehensive R&D strategic roadmap for Virginia
  • Retool the Commonwealth Technology Research Fund to provide state matches for SBIR/SSTR grants and university research commercialization initiatives
  • Change IT governance structure, authority, accountability and responsibility within state government
  • Provide incentives to expand broadband deployment and to create a Broadband Advisory Council
  • Promote telework and consolidate state telework initiatives under the Secretary of Technology
  • Enroll Virginia in the multi-state Streamlined Sales and Use Tax Agreement (SSUTA) to encourage Congress to place new multi-state sales tax collection obligations on Virginia companies that sell goods, services or content into states that tax those items, even if they don't have a physical presence in those states
  • Increase funding for Community College Transfer Grants for science, technology and engineering students
Transportation

While expectations are low that any meaningful transportation funding will emerge this session, legislators have introduced various proposals including bills to:
  • Change transportation funding formulas
  • Boost gas tax-related revenues by increasing the tax rate, switching from a "cents per gallon" to a "percentage of sale"-based model, indexing for inflation
  • Capture future revenue growth attributed to Dulles Airport and the ports in Hampton Roads to pay for local transportation infrastructure in those regions
  • Provide for dedicated metro funding to meet federal matching fund requirements
Green Technology and Energy

Governor Kaine's focus this session on renewable energy, conservation and green jobs has contributed to a variety of proposals and initiatives including bills to:
  • Grow, attract and promote "green company" and "green job" creation
  • Implement tax credits for the use and purchase of energy-efficient technology
  • Promote the use of next-generation biofuels
  • Create standards for state energy efficiency programs
  • Explore the use of smart metering in Virginia
NVTC's public policy team is in Richmond for the duration of the session advocating for the needs of the Northern Virginia technology community. Today marks the deadline for bill submission by members of the General Assembly. Next week's TechPolitic will provide a link that will enable NVTC members to review and track specific bills of interest to Northern Virginia's technology community.



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