Beginning today we plan to bring you on a regular basis more news and opinions about technology oriented programs and policies in the state….
The Technology Council has been diligently working to represent the needs and goals of the state’s innovation oriented community, but we have not always done a great job of communicating that to our friends, members and partners. Between these weekly messages, targeted mailings and eventually a range of downloadable “pod casts” and videos, I want to make sure that you are in the loop about matters that impact your ability to grow and thrive here in Connecticut.
Today is a great occasion to start because yesterday Governor M. Jodi Rell presented her vision for the state. I am delighted to report that it included a number of initiatives and ideas that parallel key issues that you have been asking the Technology Council to advocate.
We have asked for more policy help and organizational connections between the many state agencies that have worked so diligently to help the technology community. Both of these have been expressly put forward in the Governor’s speech. First, she is calling for a consolidation of funding agencies and further she is suggesting a new research capacity in state government to look at the connections between jobs, housing, transportation and economic development. This is great news. Better information, a strategic policy orientation and bringing together the critical connections of these three areas is a very promising start.
Next the Governor is calling for a cabinet level position to advise her on the implications of the interconnected needs of those trying to grow businesses here. We believe that a new sense of urgency and an understanding of the need to move quickly and in a coordinated manner across state agencies is absolutely mandatory to creating a competitive culture attractive to innovative companies and people. Having a qualified advocate at her side – pushing and cajoling constantly we hope – is a good sign.
Finally the Governor is calling for new tax credits for growing companies, more money for the new consolidated financing agency (which we hope will end up going for early stage capital programs) and a commitment to expand transportation funding for some key projects.
What is also good news is that the leadership of the General Assembly, both Senate President Donald Williams and House Speaker James Amman have spoken out about similar efforts and may even suggest more funding for technology oriented efforts. Additionally, both Democratic candidates for governor, Mayors John DeStefano Jr. from New Haven and Dannel Malloy of Stamford seem to have similar concepts that they will be pushing during the upcoming campaigns.
For once it seems like the perfect storm heading towards the Connecticut technology community may have a positive impact: all of the state political leadership seems to be looking for ways to improve the climate for innovation and growth in the state.
Click here to view the slides from the recent forum that CTC conducted for the General Assembly outlining the many issues that we are passionate about that comprise what we call the “innovation continuum.” If we can begin to implement each of these ideas as part of the new vision that the Governor and the legislative leadership have for the state, it will be an interesting year indeed for all of us.