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Ten Win Virginia Technology Awards

The Northern Virginia Technology Council last week recognized 10 members of the Virginia General Assembly who improved awareness of technology issues during the last year.

Among the winners of the "Tech Ten" awards was Virginia Assembly Del. Ken Plum (D), who sponsored legislation to create the Joint Commission on Technology and Science, which is a permanent legislative agency dedicated to information technology. In an interview, Plum said the panel was intended to fill the void of technical expertise that occurs when technology issues are delegated to more general committees.

"This will permit us to be more responsive to technical issues that face the state, and those issues go all the way from the state's use of technology to our desire to promote ourselves as the 'Silicon Dominion,' " he said.

Another winner, Patsy Ticer (D), was the force behind a state bill (SB 923) that legalized the use of digital signatures in the state. "What we decided was that we needed legislation with a minimal approach," she said. "We wanted to simply create a legal framework for digital signatures." The legislation, which took effect July 1, modified the state code of regulations to give digital signatures the same legal authority as written signatures.

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