State of technology update

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.

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.

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.

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