Northern Virginia Technology Council Announces 2018 Legislative Agenda for Virginia
On Jan. 9, NVTC sent its 2018 Legislative Agenda to all members of the Virginia General Assembly, Governor-Elect Ralph Northam, Lieutenant Governor-Elect Justin Fairfax and Attorney General Mark Herring. NVTC’s 2018 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 enacting a new biennial budget in an era of ongoing economic uncertainty will be an area of focus during the 2018 legislative session, the agenda underscores the importance of investing in programs and initiatives that 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 the importance of enhancing Virginia's ability to attract companies that are seeking to expand, relocate, move corporate headquarters, or establish research operations while also supporting a comprehensive "Grow Your Own" strategy for new company formation and ensuring that Virginia maintains its status as a strong state for business by minimizing taxes and regulation, preserving right to work, and avoiding negative signals that drive private enterprise away from the Commonwealth.
Among its policy proposals, NVTC urges policymakers to:
Develop and execute an innovation strategy for the state that includes alignment, coordination and oversight over Virginia’s programs and investments related to research, commercialization, intellectual property transfer, entrepreneurship and startup formation, and capital investment
Strengthen and support the Center for Innovative Technology (CIT) which is critical to the growth and vibrancy of Virginia’s technology ecosystem and our global competitiveness as a destination for entrepreneurs, startups and investment
Create the Role of Chief Data Officer (CDO) to better address high priority policy issues, provide tangible operational improvements and cost savings, and increase capacity for data-driven decision making across the Commonwealth
Increase the number of STEM certifications and degrees awarded statewide and expand state support for apprenticeships, internships and other hands-on learning opportunities
Improve broadband, transportation, energy and other infrastructure to support economic development and help Virginia businesses compete
In addition, NVTC’s 2018 Legislative Agenda supports targeted initiatives to further grow and diversify Virginia’s technology economy, including the Center for Innovative Technology (CIT) and the CIT GAP Funds, the Commonwealth Research Commercialization Fund (CRCF), Virginia’s angel investment and R&D tax credits, the Global Genomics and Bioinformatics Research Institute at the Inova Center for Personalized Health, and GO Virginia.
In the areas of STEM education and workforce, NVTC’s agenda calls for continued funding for the New Economy Workforce Credentials Grant Fund, which focuses on the alignment of workforce training programs with the needs of business and industry; a new customized, turnkey workforce recruitment and training incentive program that focuses on the workforce needs of existing Virginia businesses; and a workforce marketing initiative to increase local, regional and national awareness around employment opportunities in Virginia’s technology ecosystem and continued support for the Virginia Values Veterans (V3) employment program.