The Newsletter of TechPAC and NVTC

February 23, 2009


In This Issue
NVTC Technology Executives Visit Legislators in Richmond
Senate-Approved Budget Proposal Includes the Governor's Revenue Reforecast and Stimulus Funds

To track the legislation NVTC is monitoring this session, visit NVTC's legislative tracking page.


NVTC Technology Executives Visit Legislators in Richmond
As legislators scrambled to finalize bills, begin budget negotiations and meet deadlines during the final two weeks of the 2009 Legislative session, several technology executives from NVTC traveled to Richmond last Wednesday to participate in NVTC's second Board Advocacy Day. NVTC members of this delegation included NVTC President and CEO Bobbie Kilberg, NVTC Executive Committee Member John Mendonca of KPMG, NVTC Board Member Alan Merten of George Mason University, NVTC TechPAC Chairman Dendy Young of McLean Capital, NVTC TechPac Trustee Todd House of Micron Technology, NVTC TechPAC Trustee Rob Quartel of FreightDesk Technologies and NVTC Green Technology and Energy Task Force Co-Chair Tony Maull of Vergent Energy.

The group kicked off their day's meetings with Secretary of Transportation Pierce Homer, from whom they learned more about the federal stimulus package and its potential impact on regional and statewide transportation priorities. Secretary Homer also discussed the impact of budget cuts on VDOT and the changes that agency would undergo as it responds to the challenges of a declining economy. The remainder of the day was spent discussing various NVTC legislative priorities with legislators from across the state. While a few meetings were held by appointment, most discussions took place on the fly in elevators and hallways as legislators scrambled from meeting to meeting.

Legislators the group met with included Speaker Bill Howell (R-Fredericksburg), House Democratic Caucus Chair Ken Plum (D–Reston), Delegate Bob Brink (D–Arlington), Delegate Tim Hugo (R–Centerville), Delegate Albert Pollard (D-Lively), Delegate Steve Shannon (D–Vienna), Delegate Mark Sickles (D–Franconia) and Delegate Lee Ware (R-Powhatan).

Some of the many topics discussed included the budget shortfall; the federal stimulus package; transportation; narrowing the scope of the angel investor tax credit to target investment in technology; biotechnology and energy start-ups; the need to capitalize the Commonwealth Technology Research Fund so the state can leverage federal and private sector funding to commercialize university research; state legislation impacting Virginia's compliance with federal Real ID legislation; and ensuring that technology businesses and data centers are treated fairly under proposed energy efficiency legislation. The NVTC group found the legislators receptive to their questions and concerns.


From the floor of the House of Delegates, Delegate Tim Hugo and some of the NVTC delegation: David Baker, NVTC, John Mendonca, KPMG, Josh Levi, NVTC, Dendy Young, McLean Capital.


NVTC Delegation meets with House Democratic Caucus Chair Ken Plum (D–Reston).


NVTC Delegation meets with Secretary of Transportation Pierce Homer.


Secretary of Transportation Pierce Homer in discussion with NVTC delegates.


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Senate-Approved Budget Proposal Includes the Governor's Revenue Reforecast and Stimulus Funds
Last Monday Governor Kaine announced an additional $821 million revenue shortfall over the biennium. (View a full summary of the reforecast) This was in addition to the $2.9 billion previously announced. The following day, President Barrack Obama signed the federal stimulus legislation. Both the House and Senate money committees were provided with full briefings on the reforecast, the impact of the federal stimulus packages, and the funds available to Virginia. (View a full summary of the federal stimulus package)

While the House budget was passed prior to the Governor's shortfall announcement and prior to the passage of the federal stimulus package, the Senate ignored the normal budget deadline to ensure that their proposal reflected Governor Kaine's budget reforecast and the federal stimulus funds available to Virginia.

The Virginia Senate approved a modified budget proposal on Wednesday by a 36-to-4 vote. The Senate was able to use the federal stimulus money to completely offset last week's reforecast. Specifically, the Senate used federal stimulus money to restore funding to several high profile areas of the budget including higher education and public safety.

On Wednesday evening, the House and Senate each officially rejected the other's budget proposals, and budget conferees were appointed to work out a compromise prior to this Saturday's scheduled adjournment.

While Northern Virginia is unrepresented among the six House conferees, half of the Senate conferees are from Northern Virginia including: Majority Leader Dick Saslaw (D–Fairfax), Senate Finance Chairman Chuck Colgan (D–Manassas) and Senate Privileges and Elections Chair Janet Howell (D–Reston).

Among the issues to be worked out by conferees is funding for the modest but important Commonwealth Technology Research Fund. While the House budget zeroed out the Fund, the Senate proposal restored the Fund to the full $2 million that was in Governor Kaine's budget proposal.

As mentioned last week in TechPolitic, the CTRF Fund is a relatively small but important Technology Research Fund. This Fund currently provides critical matching funds to support the state's effort to attract corporate-directed research. NVTC-supported legislation, still making its way through the Assembly, revamps the Fund to provide for matching funds to universities, to leverage federal and private dollars for the commercialization of qualified research, to leverage public-private partnerships, to build wet lab space at universities, and for state SBIR/STTR matches to anchor private-sector research in Virginia. By leveraging state funds in support of private investment and public-private partnerships, NVTC hopes to expand wet lab capacity at George Mason University and to support the placement in Virginia of one of five national Nanotechnology Research Institute facilities. The NRI facility would partner with University of Virginia, VA Tech, GMU, VCU, and William & Mary Schools of Engineering to focus on research in nanostructures.


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