2016 Public Policy Guide from the Arizona Technology Council Provides Blueprint for Technology Industry Growth
Industry advocate publishes legislative goals designed to promote workforce and risk capital development among Arizona high-tech companies
PHOENIX, Arizona, October 26, 2015 – The Arizona Technology Council and its Public Policy Committee today announced the publication of its “2016 Public Policy Guide.” The positions and principles featured in the document aid elected officials at all levels of government in crafting policies that support growth in Arizona’s new and existing technology companies. To view and download the complete document that includes positions for each policy, please visit http://bit.ly/1NSmmOY. As Arizona’s leading technology advocate, the Arizona Technology Council continuously monitors federal, state and local policies that impact the health and growth of Arizona’s technology ecosystem. The Council’s state-level legislative priorities for 2016 are:
- Recapitalize the Angel Investment Tax Credit
- Implement Dodd-Frank small fund exemption
- Appropriately fund the state’s education system, including Pre-K, K-12, postsecondary, JTED and CTE programs
- Create and fund a job training program
“The Council is dedicated to reinforcing Arizona’s high technology job growth by helping elected and appointed officials across the governmental spectrum craft business-centered, technology-focused, pro-growth policies,” said Steven G. Zylstra, president and CEO of the Arizona Technology Council. “The issues and legislation we support will keep Arizona’s technology industry growing and bring high-skill, high-paying jobs to the state.” The Council’s “Public Policy Guide” provides a comprehensive list of principles and positions that are critical to Arizona’s technology industry, including: State Issues:
- Aerospace, Aviation and Defense – grow defense spending, protect Arizona’s military bases, expand the capabilities of the unmanned aerial systems training center at Fort Huachuca, fund Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer programs, and promote diversification of small businesses focused in defense markets.
- Biosciences – repeal the Medical Device Tax, amend Arizona’s Pharmacy Act to include biosimilars, advance university research funding statewide, and develop funding for science, technology, engineering and mathematics internships.
- Capital Formation – recapitalize the Angel Investment Tax Credit Program, implement the Dodd-Frank small fund exemption, improve accessibility of risk capital, and expand the Refundable Research & Development Tax Credit.
- Cybersecurity – prioritize the education of businesses regarding cybersecurity, support cybersecurity education and the development of the next generation of protection and response professionals, and promote responsible cybersecurity regulation regarding privacy notification and breach response.
- Economic Development – advocate for Arizona Commerce Authority’s (ACA) continuation, support global competitiveness via the State Trade and Export Promotion program, support local entrepreneurs in global business efforts, target high-wage tech-facing industries for recruitment, and develop a strong tech workforce in Arizona through curriculum development.
- Education – appropriately fund the state’s education system at all levels, maintain support for Arizona’s College and Career Ready Standards (or higher standards) and AZ Merit Assessment, develop infrastructure and policy framework to support innovative learning, support work-like and competency-based work experience models, and support efforts to dramatically improve STEM education.
- Energy – improve diversity of the state’s energy mix, support efforts to more efficiently use the existing energy transmission system, adopt a more robust regional approach to energy development, create a regulatory environment that encourages future technological advancement, and support industries developing innovative solutions to our water challenges.
- State Budget – recapitalize the Angel Investment Tax Credit program, discourage the Legislature from sweeping budget funds not consumed by the ACA, restore and reform education funding, and fund Arizona’s Essential and Permanent Digital Records initiative.
- Taxation – increase the current capital gains deduction, continue improvement of business property tax competitiveness, protect tax advantages for data centers, and promote modifications that modernize Arizona’s Tax Code.
- Telehealth – expand the policies of the Telemedicine Parity Bill to include Phoenix and Tucson, as well as all medical specialties in accredited telehealth practices and guidelines, allow doctor-patient relationship to be established electronically, define limits of corporate practice of physician supervision of medical personnel related to telemedicine, and enable state licensing of physicians for serving patients with the states.
- Transportation and Digital Infrastructure – continue encouragement of data center location in Arizona, increase broadband availability and affordability and use, support timely construction of Interstate 11, support modernization of the state’s transportation infrastructure, and encourage Congress to enact a multi-year bill reauthorizing the Highway Trust Fund.
- Universities – further strengthen public universities with stable funding and enhanced flexibility, support efforts to reduce regulation, increase operational flexibility and minimize costs of conducting business, and improve stakeholder involvement to bring better Internet services to the state’s universities, community colleges, libraries and K-12 schools through the universities’ Sun Corridor Network.
- Workplace and Workforce – align workforce development and education efforts with employer needs, promote company involvement in bridging the talent gap, leverage programs charged with addressing skilled workforce shortages in high-technology industry sectors, and advocate for the Legislature to reinstate a funding structure to the Job Training fund administered by the ACA.
- Aerospace, Aviation and Defense – highlight importance of FAA reauthorization, and support and promote certification and air traffic control reforms.
- Cybersecurity and Threat Data – promote incentives for voluntary sharing of threat data to foster public/private partnerships in addressing cybersecurity and seek greater penalties for cybercriminals.
- Data Breach Notification Law – passage of a federal data breach notification law
- Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) – the reform of the ECPA to require government agencies and law enforcement to obtain warrants to compel service providers to disclose the contents of emails, text messages, and other private communications they store.
- Immigration Reform for High-Skilled Workers – increase green cards for high-skilled STEM graduates, create new Visas for U.S. educated students and entrepreneurs, urge market-based Visa caps, and improve growing domestic sources of talent.
- Intelligent Transportation Systems – fund deployment of intelligent transportation systems.
- International Trade – expand the Information Technology Agreement, reauthorize the Export-Import Bank, extend Trade Adjustment Assistance, update the Trade in Services Agreement and Trade Promotion Authority, conclude the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and critique and support the Transatlantic Trade & Investment Partnership when it is released to the public.
- Internet Tax Freedom Act – access to the Internet unburdened by a patchwork of federal, state and local taxes, and enact a permanent ban on multiple and discriminatory taxes on access to the Internet as proved in the Internet Tax Freedom Act.
- Investing in Research – significantly increase appropriations for the National Science Foundation, National Institute of Standards and Technology, and the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science.
- Legal – pass the federal Employment Non-Discrimination Act and statewide protections in Arizona, and encourage companies to proactively sign the Unity Pledge, adopt best practices for non-discrimination, and embrace equality for all workers.
- More Spectrum for Innovation and Rural Broadband – ensure that Congress encourages the FCC, NTIA and other government agencies to make more spectrum available for both licensed and unlicensed use.
- Patent Litigation Reform – pass comprehensive federal legislation to curb abusive patent litigation practices.
- Promote Rules to Protect and Open Internet – support for net transparency, enact no-blocking and non-discrimination rules through legislation.
- Tax Agenda – enact corporate tax reform and create consistency in digital download and interstate taxes.
- Unlicensed Spectrum – free up additional unlicensed spectrum bands.
About the Arizona Technology Council The Arizona Technology Council is Arizona’s premier trade association for science and technology companies. Recognized as having a diverse professional business community, Council members work towards furthering the advancement of technology in Arizona through leadership, education, legislation and social action. The Arizona Technology Council offers numerous events, educational forums and business conferences that bring together leaders, managers, employees and visionaries to make an impact on the technology industry. These interactions contribute to the Council’s culture of growing member businesses and transforming technology in Arizona. To become a member or to learn more about the Arizona Technology Council, please visit www.aztechcouncil.org.