The state of technology
- By Civic.Com Staff
- Jan 22, 2001
Governors across the United States have been making their annual State of
the State speeches this month. Check here for updates as the state leaders
continue to discuss technology in their addresses.
Alabama: Gov. Don Siegelman
In his Feb. 6 address, Siegelman mentioned that every Alabama school
would be connected to the Internet and vowed to make the state a national
leader in school technology.
He also said teacher preparation programs don't require teachers to
be technologically competent, prompting him to wonder how would students
learn if teachers are "hitchhikers on the information superhighway." He
said the state must require all teachers to be competent in technology before
they enter the classroom.
Alaska: Gov. Tony Knowles
Knowles, in his Jan. 10 address, said the state is "taking advantage
of Alaska's geographic location and information technology to develop new
jobs in air cargo, telecommunications, transportation, health care and applied
research." He said the state has "the nation's highest Internet use" and
noted that "98 percent of our schools [are] connected to the information
superhighway." He said public services are available on the Internet, and
he wants to bring the Information Age into every Alaskan home.
Arizona: Gov. Jane Dee Hull
Hull urged lawmakers Jan. 8 to support a proposed $40 million in selective
tax cuts, targeted at high-tech companies because they have increased revenues
and created jobs. The governor also said the state should support the expansion
of a telecommunications infrastructure to connect communities to the Internet.
This, and other communications tools, would help the state promote quality
growth in the New Economy, she said.
Hull also commended lawmakers for making the legislature available on the Internet as well as saluted Secretary of State
Betsey Bayless for her leadership in e-government.
Arkansas: Gov. Mike Huckabee
In his Jan. 9 speech, Huckabee proposed establishing a chief information
officer position and resources to help build a technology infrastructure
"so high-speed connectivity is accessible to every Arkansan." He said this
capability would help the state recruit high-tech businesses. But he also
said the state needs to enlist better teachers to promote quality education
and ensure a well-trained technology workforce. He mentioned a phone call
from former California Gov. Pete Wilson, who proclaimed Arkansas led the
nation in moving toward e-government.
California: Gov. Gray Davis
Although most of Davis' Jan. 8 speech focused on the energy crisis in
his state, he announced the launch of the government's new portal, called
My California [civic.com, Jan. 10, 2001]. He said citizens could personalize the portal,
which is offering such online applications as vehicle registration and fishing
licenses, and it also enables users to check on a school's academic performance.
He said a new campaign to conserve energy would be posted on the site.
Colorado: Gov. Bill Owens
In his address Jan. 11, Owens said that the state should do more to
protect children from accessing hate, pornography and violence-related material
on the Internet by including filtering software on all computers in public
schools and libraries. He talked about the Colorado
Institute of Technology, which was launched last March and aims to double
the number of graduates in technology-related fields. He said $41 million
was raised in private capital to support the CIT and to expand pre-technology
learning in elementary, middle and high schools.
Connecticut: Gov. John Rowland
On Jan. 3, Rowland told lawmakers the state has invested heavily in
technology in classrooms and recognized the need for teachers to understand
Delaware: Gov. Ruth Ann Minner
Minner, entering her first term as governor, said Jan. 25 that her state
administration is not only the first of the new millennium, but it also
will "exist in its entirety during the Internet era." She said the time
was right to harness the Internet and technology to provide better service
to citizens and save resources. The state aims to completely redesign its
Web site by the spring so that services and information are organized in
a way that's easier to use.
Minner also promised that the state's Division of Motor Vehicles would use
the latest technologies to help customers. Also, she said statewide technical
and policy standards will be established for state agencies as they move
services and information onto the Web.
Florida: Gov. Jeb Bush
In his March 6 speech, Bush said that the use of technology is transforming
state government, but he did not elaborate further. He said more than $6
million is earmarked in his proposed budget for computerized tutoring in
reading, writing and math "so that studying can take place anytime, anywhere."
Regarding the state's problems in the November 2000 presidential election,
he said that the state needs to dedicate resources to modernize the voting
systems before the next election cycle.
Georgia: Gov. Roy Barnes
Barnes did not mention technology in his address.
Hawaii: Gov. Benjamin Cayetano
In his Jan. 22 speech, Cayetano proposed spending $21 million to buy
18,000 new computers for public schools, dropping the student-to-computer
ratio from 6-to-1 to 4-to-1. He said the Internet would help students "open
doors of learning and knowledge" and teach them critical thinking skills.
In higher education, he proposed building a new University of Hawaii
medical school to be the foundation for the state's health-care and biotechnology
industries. The first phase would cost $141 million, but he said the biotechnology
industry potentially could bring more than $50 million into the state annually.
Also, he asked the legislature again to appropriate $1 million each to the
university's engineering, international business, medicine and high-technology
The governor also proposed building a science and technology center
on an undeveloped, state-owned parcel in urban Honolulu to showcase the
state's strengths in astronomy, ocean marine sciences, biotechnology and
Idaho: Gov. Dirk Kempthorne
In his Jan. 8 address, Kempthorne cited an AEA
ranking saying that Idaho was the seventh fastest-growing high-tech state
and Boise was the second fastest-growing small cybercity in the nation.
The state created a Science and Technology Advisory Council [civic.com, Nov. 17, 1999], which developed a strategic plan to provide more
money for faculty in science and technology, increase the number of graduates
in those fields and perform more research.
Illinois: Gov. George Ryan
In his Jan. 31 address, Ryan said the state will move forward with a new
program involving digital identities and public-key infrastructure. Over
the next 18 months, the program will enable as many as 1 million Illinois
citizens and businesses to conduct secure electronic transactions with the
state, he said.
Illinois also will develop a "$25 million statewide radio system to "improve
communications between law enforcement and public safety services," Ryan
The governor said that the Center for Digital Government ranked Illinois
fourth up from 49th in 1998 among states in e-government services. The
state recently opened the Illinois Virtual High School for distance learning.
And in 2000, Illinois created a five-year, $2 billion program, VentureTech,
to support research and development, building and laboratory construction
as well as invest in new commercial high-tech products and services.
Indiana: Gov. Frank O'Bannon
O'Bannon asked the legislature to continue the 21st Century Research
and Technology Fund, which has supported the research of more than 30 high-tech
companies working with state universities. The governor said the economic
development fund needs $50 million during the next two years.
To address the needs of Indiana workers, O'Bannon urged continued support
for training programs in high-tech fields. "Through the new Skills 2016
Program, we will take our state training programs to a new level,'' he said
in his Jan. 17 speech.
Iowa: Gov. Thomas Vilsack
Building and sustaining Iowa's telecommunications infrastructure is
a key component of Vilsack's economic development initiative. He called
for the public and private sector to come together in an advanced telecommunications
alliance to expand broadband service to all areas of the state.
To further spur telecommunications development, Vlisack proposes the
creation of a Digital Communities Fund to help localities assess their technology
needs and how to build the correct infrastructure. The fund will make $750,000
available in the first year.
The governor also made electronic government services a priority. "Let
us accept the challenge of 100 percent E by 2003," he said.
Kansas: Gov. Bill Graves
Graves did not address information technology issues in his address
other than to propose $500,000 to assist schools in technology infrastructure
planning so they can meet the goal of statewide interconnectivity by 2002.
Kentucky: Gov. Paul Patton
Patton did not mention technology in his address.
Louisiana: Gov. Mike Foster
No address scheduled.
Maine: Gov. Angus King
In his Jan. 23 speech, King challenged his state to become "the most
technologically capable society on Earth" to attract high-paying jobs.
The governor said that expanding last year's proposal to provide laptops
for all seventh-graders would mark Maine as a technology leader. "Two percent
of our kids use computers every day in school and when they get out and
go to work, 70 percent will be using them. What's wrong with this picture?"
King said. ["Maine Proposes Laptops for Students," civic.com, April 2000]
He said a state task force has improved his original laptop plan by
proposing the use of thin-client devices instead of regular laptops. The
first phase of the plan calls for equipping every seventh- and eighth-grade
student and teacher with a digital device.
School access to the Internet will be provided through the Maine School
and Library Network, which will have software to filter inappropriate content,
Maryland: Gov. Parris Glendening
Glendening did not mention technology in his address.
Massachusetts: Gov. Paul Cellucci
In his Jan. 17 speech, Cellucci cited electronic government as one of
five key investment priorities. "Massachusetts ought to be in the e-government
vanguard,'' he said. To improve electronic government service, the state
will choose a new Web address for the state portal, make the Web site easier
to navigate, launch a campaign to educate citizens and businesses about
information and transactions available online, and enhance privacy protection,
Another priority, education, includes aid to help school districts pay
for computer technology.
Michigan: Gov. John Engler
The governor explained his "Next Michigan" action plan during his Jan. 31
address. The plan is designed to lure start-up companies in information
technology, microsystems and the life sciences to the state. It includes
eliminating the business tax and creating a "Cybercourt" with a "rocket
docket" that speeds up proceedings in areas such as intellectual property
"In a world where we can go from idea to IPO at warp speed, we need a connected
court that can keep up," he said. The Cybercourt will feature electronic
filings, Web-based conferencing and virtual courtrooms to speed dispute
resolution, as well as tech-savvy mediators and judges.
The plan also calls for eliminating local information highway bottlenecks
and expensive access fees. He said he would begin regulatory reform to "break
the grip of these broadband bandits."
In education, the governor noted that the state is investing $110 million
for laptops, training and Internet access for teachers.
Minnesota: Gov. Jesse Ventura
Ventura said he wants to collect taxes from online sales, reform telecommunications
regulations and use the Internet to make campaign finances more transparent.
Discouraged by the growing loss in tax revenue from electronic commerce
across state boundaries, Ventura called for states to find a way to help
each other collect sales taxes. "If we don't, more and more of the tax burden
will be shifted to those who find themselves on the wrong side of the "digital
divide,' and that's not fair," Ventura said.
Ventura's telecommunications plan would streamline outdated laws and
regulations to open markets to competition. He also emphasized the need
for a state Web site that would document contributions to political candidates.
Mississippi: Gov. Ronnie Musgrove
Musgrove did not mention technology in his address.
Missouri: Gov. Bob Holden
In his Jan. 30 speech, Holden recommended increased investment in technology
grants for all levels of education. He reported that the ratio of students
to computers is less than 5-to-1, and less than 10-to-1 for Internet-connected
computers. Parents will be able to use the Internet to view school "report
cards," which will include information such as graduation rates, so they
can hold schools accountable, Holden said.
Montana: Gov. Judy Martz
In her first State of the State address, Martz touched on several areas
in which government is using information technology better. She praised
the $26-million restoration of the capitol, which included wiring the building
to handle modern telecommunications and computer network requirements. The
new infrastructure makes it possible for legislators to use the Legislative Automated Workflow System and enables the public to track proceedings
online, she said.
She also said tax credits provided in the Advanced Telecommunications
Infrastructure Act, passed in the last legislative session, are helping
to bring high-speed Internet access to remote communities. "Elimination
of geography as a business issue means more and better jobs for Montanans
statewide," she said in her Jan. 25 address. Martz said she also plans to
continue development of the Criminal Justice Information System. "Sharing
that information between agencies, between branches of government, will
score a major victory for public safety," she said.
As for electronic government, Martz said Montana needs to make sure
new services are well- publicized so that residents can take advantage of
Nebraska: Gov. Mike Johanns
Johanns proposed funding for a state Criminal Justice Information System,
which will support information-sharing by police departments, courts and
other criminal justice agencies across jurisdictions. Johanns also announced
the development of a statewide wireless communication system for the law
Nevada: Gov. Kenny Guinn
As part of an education agenda that "centers on the basics" textbooks,
teacher training and reading Guinn said he will allocate $20 million to
education technology and the purchase of new textbooks.
By raising the "academic bar" for children attending state schools,
the state has raised the bar for its teachers, Guinn said in his Jan. 22
speech. "We've demanded accountability, as we should, but we haven't given
them the tools they need to perform at the level we demand the training,
the technology and the textbooks."
New Hampshire: Gov. Jeanne Shaheen
In the midst of a battle to secure reliable funding for state schools,
Shaheen warned that the state's reliance on the high-technology economy
required the state to improve the skills of the existing and, more important,
future workforce. "We must ensure that our children, no matter where they
live, have the skills and education to allow them to take full advantage
of the opportunities offered by this high-tech, global economy," she said.
Shaheen said New Hampshire, which ranks second in the nation in the
percentage of the workforce employed in high-tech jobs, has wired 98 percent
of its schools to the Internet. But, lacking state income or sales taxes,
New Hampshire is struggling to find a steady stream of funding, particularly
in poorer regions.
New Jersey: Gov. Christie Whitman
After praising the New Jersey legislature for passing a $165 million
high-technology economic development package last year, Whitman proposed
investing another $200 million in education and worker training. The new
proposal includes $20 million in high-tech workforce excellence grants for
colleges and universities.
"These initiatives reaffirm New Jersey's reputation as the Innovation
Garden State," Whitman said Jan. 9 in one of her final speeches before joining
President Bush's administration.
New Mexico: Gov. Gary Johnson
Johnson asked the legislature to change voter registration requirements
to take advantage of the Internet and enable citizens to register as late
as Election Day. "Many New Mexicans were denied the right to vote because
they had not registered to vote by the required 28 days before the election,"
Johnson said. "But with today's computers and Internet access, we should
be able to vote the same day we register."
Johnson also said the state needs to continue to move ahead with plans
for state telecommunications. "Like highways make all New Mexico communities
competitive, high-tech access for computers is a necessity that levels the
New York: Gov. George Pataki
Pataki called for the largest high-technology economic development initiative
in the state's history, combining $250 million in state funds with federal
and private funding to build research centers that capitalize on existing
programs at state schools or research institutions.
One such center would be based on Long Island, focusing on information
technology. Another, in New York City, would bring together three dozen
medical schools and other organizations developing advanced medical technology.
The state has already begun building three "centers of excellence" in Buffalo,
Albany and Rochester.
"The results of these initiatives will be an explosion of innovation
that will create thousands of...high-paying jobs," Pataki said.
North Carolina: Gov. Michael Easley
Easley, in his Jan. 6 inaugural address, said that despite the promise
of the technology-driven economy, the state's success ultimately hinges
on the welfare of its citizens.
"Just as the past generation had the courage to reach across the racial
divide to bring all people together for morality and progress, this generation
must reach across the digital divide to join together all communities in
a stronger statewide economy," he said.
North Dakota: Gov. John Hoeven
Completion of a statewide data network would bring high-speed Internet
access to 194 North Dakota communities, setting the stage for expanded initiatives
in distance education and technology workforce development programs, Hoeven
said. "For business and education, this is the infrastructure upon which
our next level of economic growth will come," he said.
Ohio: Gov. Bob Taft
Although agencies are being asked to reduce spending by as much as 4
percent, Ohio will continue to invest money in high-technology economic
development and education, Taft said in his Jan. 24 speech. The slowing
economy only reinforces the need to foster new businesses, he said.
Taft proposed three ways to spur growth in the technology industry:
Spend $40 million to support research and development in biotechnology,
nanotechnology and information technology; give new high-tech firms a three-year
break on taxes; and fund the Appalachian New Economy Partnership to increase
IT skills and to provide assistance for start-up companies in the region.
Ohio also must continue to invest in education to ensure that graduates
have the skills they need to compete in the workforce, he said. More than
50 percent of new spending will be earmarked for education. Taft wants to
use technology to expand resources for students and teachers. A plan calls
for expanding students' access to online Advanced Placement courses in districts
where AP courses are not otherwise available.
Oklahoma: Gov. Frank Keating
Keating did not mention technology in his address.
Oregon: Gov. John Kitzhaber
Kitzhaber called education "the single most important and far-reaching
investment we can make in Oregon's future." In his Jan. 8 speech, the governor
mentioned instituting the Quality Education Model, which among other things
would involve investments in engineering education and biotechnology research.
Pennsylvania: Gov. Tom Ridge
"Greatness requires that government be fluent in the language of technology,"
Ridge said early in his Feb. 6 speech. He cited many examples, including
more than $46 million in the budget for the government's technological infrastructure.
Ridge mentioned a three-year project to streamline accounting, budgeting,
payroll and other core functions of government. The state also invested
$50 million to install computers in 1,100 State Police patrol cars, an effort
Ridge said would be like "deploying an extra 200 troopers on the streets
The governor also pointed to these accomplishments: a partnership with
Microsoft Corp. to standardize software for 40,000 state computer users
that's saved $9 million; the PAPowerPort Web site; and converting public
TV stations to digital.
Ridge also promised to look at how technology and the Internet can play
a role in elections. He said the Department of State is partnering with
Cumberland County on an online voting project.
Rhode Island: Gov. Lincoln Almond
Focusing on the economy in his Feb. 5 speech, Almond said the state
must build its workforce, specifically for information technology jobs.
He suggested linking the state's Human Resources Investment Council
with institutions of higher education and with members of the technology
industry to establish an Information Technology Center at the Community
College of Rhode Island. He proposed $525,000 to fund it. The venture would
create a statewide network to develop a pool of employees for the technology
industry. "Whether you're a high school senior, whether you're a welfare
recipient or whether you're looking for a new job opportunity, we will assess
your abilities and refer you to the best entry point in the training network,"
As for government, Almond wants $8.4 million for e-government projects
to improve efficiency and enhance customer service. He also wants to establish
the Rhode Island E-Government Fund to pay for technology projects.
"Rhode Islanders should be able to log on to one convenient Web site
and renew their driver's license, bid on state proposals and even apply
for a new fishing license," Almond said.
South Carolina: Gov. Jim Hodges
On Jan. 17, Hodges applauded the state's recent vote approving a statewide
lottery that would fund education projects. The education plan would include
offering classroom technology, a free technical education for anyone at
any age, college scholarships and master's degree programs for teachers
who want to upgrade their skills. Hodges also mentioned an initiative to
make high-speed Internet access affordable in rural communities.
South Dakota: Gov. Bill Janklow
Janklow urged legislators to continue funding the Digital Dakota Network school technology system, with features including
live courses shared between schools by video conferencing. Since the end
of 1999, the number of teachers using DDN has grown from three to 7,793,
and they have sent more than three million e-mail messages.
"You meet people in and out of the legislature that say we've done enough
for technology in schools. My friends, that's like saying we've done enough
in advances in medicine. That's like saying we've done enough in advances
in any area that deals with science," Janklow said. "We will never be done."
Janklow also talked about bringing high-paying, high-technology jobs
to the state. He said the jobs will come when the workforce is sufficiently
Tennessee: Gov. Don Sundquist
Gov. Don Sundquist noted that his administration made strides in taking
government online, making it easier to access services and locate information.
He also mentioned that Tennessee was the first state to connect every public
school and library to the Internet, and that the number of computers in
classrooms has gone from 6,000 to more than 150,000 in four years.
Emphasizing education in his Jan. 29 speech, Sundquist said the state
must continue to invest in education to attract new jobs to the state. Part
of the investment, he said, would involve enhancing the technology available
to teachers by upgrading school computer lines and making personal computers
more affordable through a state contract.
Texas: Gov. Rick Perry
In his Jan. 24 speech, Perry recommended creating a technology scholarship
to increase the number of computer science and engineering graduates and
reduce the shortage of skilled technology workers.
Perry also said he wanted to increase the allotment for technology in
public schools by $35 per student "so more students can learn their lessons
using the tools of tomorrow." He cited William B. Travis High School, a
school on the south side of Austin with a large minority enrollment. Through
the work of a technology coordinator and corporate sponsors, the school
gives students access to wireless Internet, multimedia and teleproduction
"By transforming education through technology, learning has become more
fun and interesting, stimulating the intellectual curiosity of the students
and advancing the idea that life is full of limitless possibilities," Perry
Utah: Gov. Mike Leavitt
In his speech Jan. 16, Leavitt reminded constituents that Utah is on
its way to providing high-speed Internet services to every Utah household.
"You can register your car or buy your hunting license online," Leavitt
said. "And all this takes a smaller percentage of our paychecks than eight
years ago, causing financial publications to designate Utah as the best-managed
state in America."
The governor said he wants to double in five years and triple in eight
years the number of engineering, computer science and technology graduates
in Utah. That would involve grooming students in math and technology skills
before college, and retaining good math and technology teachers. He proposed
a one-time bonus up to $20,000 on top of salaries for teachers who stay
in Utah schools for four years.
For economic development, Leavitt cited the formation of the Utah Silicon Valley Alliance to attract high-tech companies to Utah and nurture start-ups.
Vermont: Gov. Howard Dean
Dean did not mention technology in his address.
Virginia: Gov. James Gilmore
Gilmore said technology "must be more than hardware and Web sites, but
a real opportunity to break down the walls of bureaucracy and bring a more
responsive government closer to the people."
He proposed a new capital construction program on campuses across Virginia
to meet the demands of higher education in the 21st century. He specifically
mentioned a bioinformatics building
at Virginia Tech, where students could explore genetics; a nanotechnology
building at the University of Virginia to teach about building miniature
computer processors; and a building at George Mason University, for "the
next generation of public servants and leaders."
He also mentioned plans for digital signatures and electronic procurement
for government goods and services. "One of my administration's most ambitious
goals has been to transform Virginia as the Digital Dominion into a global technology leader," Gilmore said.
Washington: Gov. Gary Locke
Locke mentioned technology in the context of past achievements, but
not specifically as part of his new agenda.
West Virginia: Gov. Cecil Underwood
Date not confirmed.
Wisconsin: Gov. Scott McCallum
McCallum did not specifically mention technology in his Feb. 1 address.
Wyoming: Gov. Jim Geringer
Geringer's speech focused extensively on technology. In relation to
the economy, he said that "the No. 1 priority given to us by the people
of Wyoming is to take actions that can help increase the quantity of jobs
and the quality of income." He cited broadband connectivity and Internet
access as one of many ways to achieve this.
He said the state's teachers need additional support and assistance
in upgrading their technology capabilities. "They need to be better prepared,
through additional instruction and hands-on experiences, in order to effectively
use and integrate today's technology and Web-based instruction into their
classroom activities," he said.
To connect the state's rural communities, he advocated a Wyoming electronic
portal and suggested a pilot program that would connect health-care providers
across the southern part of the state. He advocated a telehealth system
to get quality health care to people in rural areas.
Geringer also wanted to develop a public safety communications network
and an upgrade for public television, but said no solid plan is in place
to move on either of those things.
The governor also is asking all executive branch agencies to participate
in the State's Electronic Commerce Commission and the Information Technology
Oversight Panel in the development of electronic governance projects. "Our
goal is to provide Wyoming citizens with direct access to state services,
independent of time and place," he said.