The state of technology

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

Alaska

Arizona

Arkansas

California

Colorado

Connecticut

Delaware

Florida

Georgia

Hawaii

Idaho

Illinois

Indiana

Iowa

Kansas

Kentucky

Louisiana

Maine

Maryland

Massachusetts

Michigan

Minnesota

Mississippi

Missouri

Montana

Nebraska

Nevada

New Hampshire

New Jersey

New Mexico

New York

North Carolina

North Dakota

Ohio

Oklahoma

Oregon

Pennsylvania

Rhode Island

South Carolina

South Dakota

Tennessee

Texas

Utah

Vermont

Virginia

Washington

West Virginia

Wisconsin

Wyoming

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 that technology.

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 training schools.

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 volcanology.

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 said.

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, King said.

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, he said.

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 rights.

"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 them.

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 enforcement community.

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 playing field."

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 and highways."

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," Almond said.

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 skilled.

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 services.

"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 said.

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.

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