TAG Hosts Annual High Tech Day at State Capitol

statecapitol2ATLANTA –February 22, 2016– The Technology Association of Georgia will hold its annual Tech Day at the Georgia Capitol, 2:00 P.M Wednesday, Feb 24. The purpose of the event will be to seek support for a wide range of proposed legislation including a bill that would revise the state’s HOPE scholarship to reward Georgia college students for taking rigorous science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) courses.

During the day-long TAG event, the organization will hold its board of directors meeting at the Capitol for the first time; then mount what is expected to the largest number of its members coming to the Capitol on Tech Day to meet with legislators.

“As the state emerges from one of the country’s most prolonged economic recessions, we believe the continued growth of the technology industry will be vital in creating new businesses and jobs that will fuel Georgia’s future economy,” said TAG President Tino Mantella.  “Since our first Tech Day in 2010, Georgia’s technology community has grown more than 10 percent since, adding more than 25,000 net new jobs. But there is still much more to do if we want to continue to be competitive against California’s Silicon Valley or the Austin, Tex., tech center.”

TAG is supporting HB801 introduced by House Speaker Pro Tem Jan Jones (R-Milton) that would direct the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia to identify selected STEM courses that would receive extra weight in calculating the HOPE scholarship GPA.

Under the proposed bill, a student completing one of the selected STEM courses would receive a .5 credit to his or her grade for HOPE GPA calculations.  Rep. Jones said the bill would encourage students to take the academic risk of losing the HOPE that is come with taking more demanding courses.

“This initiative will encourage our young people to develop the 21st century skills demanded in STEM fields and make Georgia even more competitive in attracting high tech companies to locate and expand in our state,” said Rep. Jones.

Other bills that TAG is focusing include Rep. Don Parsons’ to expand data center tax incentives including eliminating state sales tax on equipment purchased for data center operations and the state sales tax on electricity for data centers except for local taxes paid for educational purposes. Since 2005, 23 states have passed similar laws.

The technology industry has a $113 billion impact on the state, accounting for nearly 17 percent of Georgia’s economy.

Tech Day sponsors include: CenturyLink, Comcast Business, Fiserv, Google, HP Enterprise and Quality Technology Services.

For more information on TAG’s TECH DAY activities, contact Heather Maxfield at Heather@tagonline.org

 

 

About The Technology Association of Georgia (TAG)

TAG is the leading technology industry association in the state, serving more than 30,000 members through regional chapters in Metro Atlanta, Athens, Augusta, Columbus, Macon/Middle Georgia, and Savannah. TAG’s mission is to educate, promote, and unite Georgia’s technology community to foster an innovative and connected marketplace that stimulates and enhances a tech-based economy.

For more information visit the TAG website at http://www.tagonline.org/

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