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Tech Talkin' Govs, Part II

January 20, 2010

The second installment of SSTI’s Tech Talkin’ Govs’ series includes excerpts from speeches delivered in Colorado, Virginia and West Virginia. Our first installment was in the Jan 13 Digest.

Gov. Bill Ritter, State of the State Address, Jan. 14, 2010
“Colorado voters were the first in the country to pass a renewable energy standard. … So, this session let’s think bigger, creating even larger markets for solar, wind, biomass, hydro and geothermal. Let’s increase our standard to 30 percent.

“This will trigger the creation of tens of thousands of new jobs, draw new capital investments and new companies to our state, and keep Colorado at the epicenter of America’s energy revolution. …

“… On higher education, we will continue to protect Colorado’s colleges and universities. … And you will all be happy to know that my last blue-ribbon panel will spend this year crafting a long-term strategic plan for the future of higher-ed in Colorado.”

Gov. Bob McDonnell, State of the Commonwealth Address, Jan. 18, 2010
“…  (W)e must have the vision and the foresight to invest in our future. Our Jobs and Opportunity agenda consists of policies that make those investments.

“First, I will ask you to significantly increase the amount of money in our successful job-creating Governor’s Opportunity Fund. … Growing the tax base through business development is the key to Virginia’s economic recovery. Let’s start now by doubling the amount of the Fund for Fiscal Year 2011. …

“… We will also target new Opportunity Fund dollars to the bio-tech industry. … Delegate Sam Nixon of Chesterfield is teaming up with Senator Mark Herring from Loudoun County to push my commitment to grant an income tax exemption for qualified investments by technology and science startup businesses.

“And I will seek an important change in how the money in the Opportunity Fund is utilized. Currently funding is available to companies based on job creation and capital investment. We should broaden the use of the Fund for companies that significantly increase local and state tax revenue – allowing for even more investment in education, workforce development and job creation. …

“… Governor Kaine committed to invest $1.3 million in the Virginia Spaceport.  We can make Wallops Island the top commercial Spaceport in America, and I ask you to keep that money in place so that we can aggressively recruit aerospace companies and promote space tourism initiatives. …

“… Another industry with tremendous growth potential is energy. … We have the opportunity to be the first state on the Eastern Seaboard to sell the leasing rights to explore and drill offshore for oil and natural gas in 2011. ...

“… And we must continue to prepare for the reality of offshore production this session by mandating that 20% of the new tax revenues we generate, and any future royalties we receive, will be invested in renewable energy projects…

“… To further make Virginia a welcome home for alternative energy, I ask you to pass legislation making the entire Commonwealth a “Green Jobs Zone.” Any business in the state that creates a green energy job over the next 5 years will receive an income tax credit of $500 per position.…

“… We must make college more affordable and accessible. We will do this by committing the Commonwealth to awarding 100,000 more degrees over the next 15 years in our community colleges and four-year universities.  It is an audacious goal, but an important one for our future competiveness.”

West Virginia
Gov. Joe Manchin, State of the State Address, Jan. 13, 2010
“Learning additional skills beyond high school is more critical than ever for West Virginians. That is why I am asking all of our technical and four-year colleges and universities to freeze their tuition rates for the coming school year.”

Colorado, Virginia, West Virginiastate tbed