2014 State Policy Priorities
In 2014, TechNet will focus on developing relationships, leveraging advocacy opportunities, and delivering key results for TechNet member companies. We will encourage states to adopt smart, adaptive, and long-range strategies that promote job growth and retention, encourage innovation, enhance global competitiveness, and provide services to constituents that adopt and improve upon successful, consumer-orientated models. Our work will encompass the following priorities:
Protect the Innovation Economy
The technology industry is a statewide, national, and international leader in job creation, product deployment, sustainable economic development, and global competitiveness. The high tech industry employs more than one million Californians. TechNet’s number one priority is to protect this economic engine and preserve California’s and the United States’ leadership in innovation and productivity. In furtherance of this fundamental purpose, TechNet will put additional focus on six specific initiatives.
1. Strengthening K-12 Education. TechNet supports state initiatives to establish and refine Computer Science education standards aligned to CSTA standards and efforts to allow students to take Computer Science for fulfillment of a math or science graduation credit. By supporting such standards, it will provide students with the opportunity to develop 21st century skills – such as critical thinking, collaboration, and proficiency in science (including computer science), technology, engineering and math (STEM), and harnessing digital education to strengthen teaching and enable individualized learning strategies.
2. Fostering research, development and investment, and the protection of intellectual property. TechNet supports investment in university research, strong state R&D tax credits — such as California’s permanent credit for qualified applied and basic research – and tax policies that enable companies to hire, invest, and compete. In addition to smart tax policy, TechNet will engage to prevent abusive patent litigation activities. Entities that do not invest in R&D or make or sell products shouldn’t be acquiring patents for the sole purpose of attacking successful businesses. TechNet supports legislation proposed in several states to combat such bad faith, deceptive tactics through improved consumer protection laws.
3. Supporting and enhancing clean energy technologies and R&D. Energy is one of the fundamental building blocks of the economy. California leadership and its citizens have clearly and rightfully asked for a new focus on clean, reliable, and efficient energy sources, new generation capabilities, and sophisticated storage strategies that will provide dividends for future generations. TechNet supports state policies to spur deployment of clean energy resources such as fuel cells, solar, wind, demand-side, advanced clean combustion, and clean transportation, and will work diligently to advance them. TechNet also supports smart grid technologies that increase the reliability and resilience of the electric grid; enable clean technologies and electric vehicles; and help consumers reduce their electric bills. TechNet supports empowering consumers with access to their energy data and new tools to help consumers cut energy use.
4. Provide responsible stewardship for our natural resources and environment. New technologies are typically far more efficient than those they displace and can save the economy ten times the energy that they consume. Appropriate use of data analytics, information technology, and information sharing can help provide further efficiencies and positively impact consumer behavior. TechNet member companies have developed and maintain significant practices and policies to protect the environment and promote conservation, recycling, and reduce waste. Efforts to expand or create new programs should be inclusive, balanced, and data-driven in order to achieve stated aims and avoid significant disruption.
5. Promote broad access to the Internet and communication systems, while ensuring that consumers have a safe and secure experience. Embracing policies that expand access to the internet and technology, provide a safe and secure consumer experience, and promote strong industry competition while opposing provisions that would create unnecessary regulations or legal requirements that increase cost, reduce consumer choice, hamper innovation, and limit technology advancement and availability is a core TechNet value. Any creation of new legal or regulatory requirements should be directly tied to an identified harm, limited to gaps in existing coverage, focused on bad actors, and be narrowly tailored to avoid conflicts or discrepancies in the law and unintended consequences.
6. Enhance and promote better outcomes, increased access, and efficiency in the expanding health care system. Biotechnology and personalized medicine hold the promise of breakthroughs in treating the most serious diseases. TechNet is committed to ensuring patient access to innovative therapies and treatments. Information technology can deliver higher efficiencies and better utilization while paving the way for private sector technology solutions to increase health care insurance enrollment. Due to the fact that the traditional health care system seemingly does not readily adopt or utilize new technologies that can improve patient outcomes, provide more individualized treatment, or simplify the complexities of navigating the system, we need to advocate and educate on how the utilization and advancement of technology can and will influence a better overall healthcare system for individuals.