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Tech Talkin' Govs II

January 17, 2003

Despite, or because of, the continuing fiscal crises facing nearly every state, technology-based economic development remains high on the agendas of most governors, as demonstrated in their recent speeches. Those excerpts pertaining to state efforts to build tech-based economies are provided below.

States with Inaugural Addresses during the past 10 days included Kansas, Maryland, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Oregon, South Dakota, and Vermont. Governors in Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Jersey, South Dakota, Washington, and Wyoming gave State of the State Addresses.


Governor Janet Napolitano, State of the State Address, Jan. 13, 2003

"It is time to stop viewing our universities and community colleges as easy marks to balance the budget. Instead, we must recognize them as epicenters of economic development. They educate the workforces of tomorrow, and their research expands our horizons.

"It is time to coordinate our efforts to develop Arizona’s promising tech sector...To achieve the economic renaissance I envision, our economy must be powered by innovation, and be driven by the entrepreneurs and tech-based businesses that will create the high-wage jobs and clean industries we seek. Three steps are key.

"First, our public and private sectors must speak with one economic voice. To do this, I will sign an executive order this week creating the Governor’s Council on Technology and Innovation. It will focus on three areas: coordination of technology transfer from universities to the commercial sector, capital formation, and infrastructure development.

"Second, it is time to remove the single biggest obstacle to smooth technology transfer from our university campuses to the commercial sector. Arizona’s constitution prohibits universities from forming or taking equity positions in commercial ventures, which slows down their efforts to convert research innovations into viable commercial applications. Competing states do not have this prohibition, and they enjoy greater success in luring tech start-ups.

"I will submit to you a ballot referendum to repeal this article of Arizona’s constitution.

"Third, we must do a better job at attracting capital for small and growing high tech businesses. They need this capital to grow their enterprises and create more high-paying jobs for an educated workforce. I will work with the business community to attract more development capital to Arizona, particularly for new companies."


Governor Frank O'Bannon, State of the State Address, Jan. 14, 2003

"Last month, Lieutenant Governor Kernan and I launched our Energize Indiana plan...this $1.25 billion plan does not use a single state tax dollar. But it will create high-skill, high-wage jobs in four sectors - advanced manufacturing; life sciences; 21st century logistics, or high-tech distribution; and information technology.

"It will provide venture capital for entrepreneurs, stimulate research and development, create construction jobs when we build university research facilities and match current workers with even better jobs. It will help our rural communities by providing grants and loans for economic-development investments... It also will provide scholarships for students who study in the four targeted sectors.

"We believe that Energize Indiana will, over the next 10 years, create 200,000 new high-wage, high-skill jobs in the four targeted sectors; enroll 200,000 additional students in higher education and credential programs; and grow the state's per capita income faster than the national average."


Governor Tom Vilsack, Condition of the State Address, Jan. 14, 2003

"In the Iowa economy today, less than 30 percent of our workforce has any college experience. Iowans who learn more earn more. Our goal in the Iowa economy of tomorrow -- a high tech bio-based economy -- should be to double the number of employed Iowans with college experience. Immediate progress toward this goals should be the standard by which our work here is judged.

"Now to reach that ambitious goal requires a new, focused effort on economic development -- one that is key to life sciences, value added agriculture, advanced manufacturing, insurance, and other information solutions... a Iowa Values Fund should be created and dedicated to partnering with private investment to transform our economy. Administered and managed as a public/private partnership, the fund's investments should promote regional economic development so no part of Iowa is left behind. The fund should work closely with the Regents universities, community colleges and independent colleges to double the number of college-experienced workers in the workforce. Over the next five years, we should commit $500 million to this fund. It is that important.

"The initial investment from the Iowa Values Fund should be dedicated to making Iowa the life sciences leader in protein development and production. Developing the necessary life sciences infrastructure with an appropriate regulatory structure should be a top economic development priority of the state, allowing us to reach a goal of 100 new life sciences companies in Iowa over the next five years.

"Initial resources from the fund should also spur the development of more renewable fuel and energy of all kinds... Today, Iowa annually produces 200 megawatts of electricity from renewable energy sources -- wind, solar and biomass. By the end of the decade our goal should be to annually produce a minimum of 1,000 megawatts committed to the goal of making Iowa a net exporter of energy."


Governor Ronnie Musgrove, State of the State Address, Jan. 8, 2003

"Higher education has a critical role to play in bringing jobs to Mississippi. That's why I've called for the creation of a $200 million 'Brain Trust' for our universities and community and junior colleges. Under this plan, bonds would be issued - $20 million a year for 10 years - to recruit and retain the very best minds for research, development, and workforce training. We know this is the type of investment that creates more high-paying jobs for our people."


Governor Bob Holden, State of the State Address, Jan. 15, 2003

"We must make every effort both to hold on to our good jobs and to move our state more rapidly into the new 'knowledge-based economy' of the future...I am proposing several actions today to help Missouri hold on to good paying manufacturing jobs and to help our state plan for the future. First, I am calling for a one-percentage point reduction in the corporate tax rate...Second, I want to provide the right incentives to protect the right jobs already in Missouri...We will insist these incentives be tied to important capital investments such as retooling or investing in new technologies...

"Finally, we must make Missouri a leader in the new 'knowledge-based' economy of the future. The critical foundation of this effort--the key to Missouri’s future--is--and must always be--education. And as we advance to the economy of the future, our investment in higher education becomes even more important. Investments made in our universities -- made when our economy was stronger -- were the right investments to make.  Missouri is now poised to move forward in the knowledge-based economy by focusing on innovation and the critical areas of the life sciences, advanced manufacturing, and information technology.

"Support for our universities is an investment in the jobs of the future. And that is why I also urge all businesses and corporations in this state to strengthen their commitment to higher education. Because if you are in business in Missouri, the benefits of a strong higher education system flow directly to you—from the quality of your future workforce to the research that provides advances in agriculture, technology, life sciences, biotechnology, and advanced manufacturing.

"I am taking two steps to strengthen the link between our businesses and higher education. I am appointing a Commission on the Future of Higher Education. This voluntary commission will make recommendations on how we can find ways to strengthen the link between higher education and economic growth in our state, how we can improve higher education overall in Missouri, and identify any new funding sources for our colleges and universities.

"Second, I have called for a new alliance between businesses and our universities. I have asked leaders in higher education and in the private sector to create the Research Alliance of Missouri to coordinate research and provide more access to technology for Missouri businesses...

By these two steps, we can better direct and connect higher education and the economy.  We must make our colleges, universities, and technical schools the engines that fuel our economy of the future."

New Jersey

Governor James E. McGreevey, State of the State Address, Jan. 14, 2002

"New Jersey will continue to work with our corporate partners to develop high quality summer programs for reading, science and math teachers to help our educators continue to improve...And to make sure our young people are ready to compete in this new economy we will start a technology proficiency test that will be required for high school graduation.

"We must also have the vision to ensure New Jersey's pre-eminence in education, science, and technology. Now is the time to restructure our State public research universities into a world-class system. An integrated university system will strengthen the partnership between the university and private sectors in developing new technologies that will be the engine of future economic growth. It will attract the most capable faculty and the most promising research, while strengthening the communities that surround our State universities.

"...while we produce the drugs that save lives all across the world, too little medical research into new therapies is conducted within our borders. That must change. With new partnerships between government and the health care industry, it will.

"In the next budget, we will build on these investments but we can start now by passing legislation to promote stem cell research to be done here in New Jersey."


Governor James H. Douglas, Inaugural Address, Jan. 8, 2003

"Cutting-edge clean technologies have sprouted businesses that do not compete with the environment, but rather compete with each other to achieve a cleaner environment. Welcoming these businesses to Vermont, and encouraging their innovation and growth will allow us to promote Vermont values around the nation, and indeed around the world."


Governor Gary Locke, State of the State Address, Jan. 14, 2003

"...we must continue to create jobs with investments in education, especially by supporting industries of the future like biotechnology and software. I’m proposing $20 million in higher education funding to expand enrollments at our colleges and universities by more than 1,500 students, dedicated exclusively to such high-demand fields as engineering, computer science and health care. Our state’s businesses continue to need these critical skills."