Saturday, January 31, 2009

VA Politics: Technology Jobs and Tax Credits for Families


Senate Democrats unanimously support effort to bring cutting-edge tech companies to Virginia

(Richmond, Va.) – Democratic senators passed a bill today to create jobs by attracting bioscience and other technology companies to the Commonwealth.

The bill makes it easier for Virginia to better use resources the state already has without raising taxes.

“This important piece of legislation was passed on a day when economists are predicting a deepening recession and when unemployment rates in parts of the state have reached 13- to 15-year highs,” said Sen. Mark Herring (D-Loudoun County), the sponsor of S.B. 1338. “Virginia can maintain its leadership status in science development while attracting industries that create high-paying jobs.”

The measure, which passed 35-4, promotes science and technology-based research, development and commercialization in Virginia.

It’s an economic development measure that targets multiple entities.

Under the legislation, the Commonwealth Technology Research Fund would be renamed the Commonwealth Research and Commercialization Fund. Renaming the fund emphasizes how important commercializing the research of energy, conservation, microelectronics and bioscience is.

With the new measure, the fund would also give Virginia universities and dynamic small bio-technology companies a chance to participate in a loan program to help pay for construction of commercial research facilities, like wet labs.

Science industries offer high-paying jobs. Promoting these industries would help to attract badly needed positions in the Commonwealth, while creating new products.

“Other states, like Maryland and North Carolina, have spent tens of millions of dollars to invest in their technology and life sciences industries,” Herring said. “While Virginia cannot afford to do that, we can better use our existing resources.”

One existing resource the bill impacts is the Angel Tax Credit, a stimulus to encourage early-stage investments in small, Virginia high-technology start-ups.

Through an amendment, the credit would be given to the kind of 21st-century projects it was intended to support. The tax credit would be limited to small Virginia companies engaged in science and technology. And half of the available credits would be given to technology-related research developed at or in partnership with the commonwealth’s colleges and universities.


(Richmond, Va.) – Sen. John Edwards understands the hardships that Virginians are facing during these tough economic times.

That’s why he worked to push a bill through the Virginia Senate today that would require employers to inform their workers of an existing state and federal program for low-income, working families.

Under the legislation, an employer would have to inform employees that they may be eligible for state and federal Earned Income Tax Credits and may apply for these credits on their tax returns or get the credits in advanced payments during the year. Employers would be required to post notices.

The bill passed on a party line vote, 21-18.

“It’s obvious that working families are hurting from the tough economy,” said Edwards, (D-Roanoke), the sponsor of S.B. 860. “But we have programs in place that can alleviate them of some financial burden.

“Now we just need to make sure those who qualify know.”

Virginians who may qualify for the state and federal Earned Income Tax Credit programs are low- to middle-income families and individuals. In Virginia, an individual earning up to $12,880 a year or a family earning up to $41,646 per year might qualify.

Right now, $120 million more could be accessed by working families in Virginia through the program. Families who qualify would get $1,800 on average back. At least 75,000 families have not applied for the program in Virginia.


Anonymous said...

Easy to understand why people are moving to vote for democrats in Virginia. Republicans keep wanting to "build the wall higher" against everything, and democrats are working to "open doors" to opportunity and prosperity and plan for the future. There is an interesting column by David Broder this morning talking about the irrelevance of republicans, and the different camps in the democratic party. One being more concerned with helping people in need, and the other being more concerned with promoting business health and building infrastructure.

I'd link to it but I don't know how.

Rockdem said...

Actually anon, the column you mention might by by E.J.Dionne.
When I read your post I did a search in order to link it for you.

Is this the column?

Anonymous said...

Yup, that's the one. I read it in this morning's dnr with a different headline. I don't know why I thought it was David Broder. How embarrassing. :0(