Northern Virginia Technology Council Announces 2019 Legislative Agenda for Virginia
Council urges policies and investments to continue focus on growing and diversifying Virginia’s technology and innovation economy
On Jan. 7, the Northern Virginia Technology Council (NVTC) sent its 2019 Legislative Agenda to all members of the Virginia General Assembly, Governor Ralph Northam, Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax and Attorney General Mark Herring. NVTC’s 2019 Legislative Agenda advocates policies and investments to aggressively grow Virginia’s technology ecosystem and to continue to distinguish Virginia as a leading state for business and a global technology center.
Recognizing that ongoing economic uncertainty will impact priorities during the 2019 legislative session, the agenda underscores the importance of continuing to advance policies and invest in programs and initiatives that will drive technology research, innovation, commercialization and high wage jobs in key areas where Virginia has existing strength and the most opportunity to compete globally.
In the agenda, NVTC emphasizes opportunities for economic growth and competitiveness in sectors such as data analytics, data protection/cybersecurity, personalized medicine and health technologies, unmanned and autonomous systems, data transmission/wireless infrastructure and data storage and warehousing.
Among its policy proposals, NVTC urges action in the following key areas:
Competitiveness and Economic Growth:
- Develop and execute an innovation strategy for Virginia by consolidating research, commercialization and entrepreneurial ecosystem programs and initiatives under one authority and designating the Center for Innovative Technology as the managing non-profit for the consolidated authority and its programs.
- Maintain and grow targeted initiatives, incentives and tax policies that have a successful track record in driving research and pre-company research grants, seed money to grow innovative companies and the funding ecology and support that is critical for a sustainable, entrepreneurial technology ecosystem
- Support the Commonwealth Cyber Initiative (CCI), a network of cyber research, innovation and learning connecting dozens of states public universities, community colleges and businesses with the goal of building a state-wide ecosystem of cybersecurity innovation, commercialization and education.
- Provide a permanent governance structure and appropriate resources to support Virginia’s Chief Data Officer (CDO)
- Maintain Virginia’s competitive data center incentives
STEM Education and Workforce:
- Confirm and implement Virginia’s commitments to invest in the tech-talent pipeline to support Amazon’s major new corporate headquarters and meet the need of other technology businesses across the Commonwealth.
- Increase the number of STEM-H certifications and degrees awarded statewide, expand state support for apprenticeships, internships and other hands-on learning opportunities
- Support the Virginia Values Veterans (V3) Program and other targeted workforce initiatives to provide training and job opportunities for veterans, transitioning service members and military spouses.
- Enact state legislation to extend basic job protections by prohibiting employers from discriminating based on sexual orientation.
- Support a strong, efficient regional transportation network that is essential to our future economic competitiveness, security, and quality of life.
- Support offshore wind generation and the increased deployment of utility scale solar projects across Virginia to provide technology businesses with greater access to renewable energy.
- Scale the Virginia Telecommunications Initiative to increase private sector broadband deployment in unserved areas and maintain recent laws which facilitate the deployment of wireless facilities, including 5G.