Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Governor Signs Bioscience and Technology Bills

From 2010 Bioscience Legislation Bill Signing
Flanked by Democratic and Republican lawmakers and Northern Virginia technology and business leaders, Governor Bob McDonnell today signed into law a number of bills from his successful "Jobs and Opportunity" legislative agenda that received broad bipartisan backing in the recent General Assembly session. The signing ceremony was held at the Center for Innovative Technology and Northern Virginia Technology Council in Herndon.

McDonnell's "Jobs and Opportunity" legislative agenda consisted of measures designed to spur job creation and promote economic development in Virginia. The bills signed today included tax deductions on capital gains derived from investments in technology, energy, biotech and science-based companies operating in the Commonwealth; granting temporary business licenses to individuals who already have a business license or certification from another state; broadening the allowable uses of the Governor's Development Opportunity Fund to assist in attracting major employers to the Commonwealth; designating the head of the Virginia Economic Development Partnership as CEO; and establishing a biotech research performance grant program.

Speaking about the bill signing, Governor McDonnell stated The number one job of our Administration is to help create good jobs for the citizens of Virginia. We will do that by investing in proactive policies that help private sector companies expand and grow in the Commonwealth. The states that help lead this country out of this economic downturn will be those that move aggressively to promote job creation and make it easier for entrepreneurs and business owners to be successful. That is what we are doing in Virginia. The bills we are signing today gained broad bipartisan support because job-creation and economic development are bipartisan objectives. I thank the legislative leaders from both parties who helped carry this legislation, and the members of the Virginia technology and business communities who advocated effectively for its passage."

McDonnell also used the bill signing to comment on budget amendments successfully advanced by the Administration to further assist in the job-creation effort, "We also successfully promoted changes in the introduced budget to invest more in critically important economic development tools. These include the CIT GAP Fund which will provide critical and immediate first financing for 20 new early-stage companies, and position Virginia as a leader in next-generation company formation in the areas of technology, biosciences, and energy. We expanded funding for Virginia's wet labs so that they can increase lab space to the benefit of growing biotechnology companies. And working together we continued to fund the Virginia Leaders in Export Trade (VALET) Program and provided additional funding for the DBA Loan Guarantee Program which helps finance small businesses at a time when credit markets are tight."

Lawmakers joining the Governor this afternoon included Senator Mark Herring (D-Loudoun); Senator Janet Howell (D-Fairfax); Senator Walter Stosch (R-Henrico); Delegate Dave Albo (R- Fairfax); Delegate Tom Rust (R- Fairfax); Delegate Tim Hugo (R- Fairfax); Delegate Barbara Comstock (R- Fairfax); Delegate Mark Sickles (D- Fairfax); Delegate Rich Anderson (R-Prince William); Delegate Joe May (R-Loudoun); Delegate Jackson Miller (R-Prince William) and Delegate Mark Keam (D-Fairfax). Among the many leaders from the Northern Virginia technology and business communities in attendance were Bobbie Kilberg, President and CEO of the Northern Virginia Technology Council; Pete Jobse, President and CEO of the Center for Innovative Technology; Mark Herzog, Executive Director of the Virginia Biotechnology Association; John Backus, Managing Partner of New Atlantic Ventures; Spencer Williamson, President and CEO of Intelliject LLC; and Michael Grisham the President of GPB Scientific.

Speaking about his bill to grant an income tax deduction for capital gains derived from investments in technology, science-based or bio-tech start ups in Virginia, Senator Mark Herring remarked, "This legislation tells Virginia investors that if you support the entrepreneurs in this dynamic sector of our economy, state government will support you. Science, technology and biotech-based jobs are good-paying and fast-growing, and we must take every action possible to make sure they are created in the Commonwealth. This legislation will encourage more investors to put their private capital to work creating good work for Virginians."

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