Lincoln Almond on Technology
Former Republican RI Governor
$8.4 million Rhode Island E-government Fund
We have to get state government up to speed. That means investing in E-government to keep business and our state more competitive. I have a plan to get us there.
Source: State of the State Address to Rhode Island Legislature
Feb 7, 2001
First I am targeting $8.4 million to improve government efficiency and enhance customer service. Rhode Islanders should be able to logon to one convenient website and renew their drivers’ license,
bid on state proposals and even apply for a new fishing license. Our investment will pave the way for this to happen in the years to come.
- Second, I am proposing to establish a targeted revenue source within the state budget for information
technology. The Rhode Island E-government Fund will be the state’s first major commitment to staying ahead of the technology curve.
- Now that the new economy is here, we must bring everyone along.
Cooperate with Canada on regional info tech workforce.
Almond signed the New England Governors' Conference resolution:
Source: NEG/ECP Resolution 26-6: Joint Information Workforce 01-NEGC6 on Aug 28, 2001
- WHEREAS, New England and Eastern Canada have among the highest concentration of information technology workers in the nation, with major specializations in high skill, high wage information technology occupations, which are integral for the region’s high tech computer, electronics, e-commerce and communications sectors, as well as other industries such as finance, insurance and manufacturing; and
- WHEREAS, the Conference of New England Governors and Eastern Canadian Premiers (NEG-ECP) Knowledge Industry Innovators’ Forum recognizes the importance of continuing to build the skills of its workforce in information technology to strengthen its ability to compete and sustain the long-term economic growth of the knowledge economy; and
- WHEREAS, the NEG-ECP recognizes the importance of the ability to predict and respond to the changing information technology workforce needs will be critical to maximizing opportunities to develop the region’s
knowledge economy in the future;
- NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the NEG-ECP will cooperate in addressing regional information technology workforce needs to enhance and build upon state and provincial initiatives already underway; and
- BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Conference task a group of key knowledge industry stakeholders to work together to identify appropriate actions to:
- Identify, develop and promote the adoption of appropriate skill standards and assessment tools to ensure the region’s education and training institutions and their graduates are recognized internationally for excellence;
- Improve regional information technology workforce projections and analysis initiatives in order to better anticipate and adapt to the changing needs of the knowledge economy; and
- Develop networks and share best practices on a regional basis, and to meet annually to discuss key issues.
Level playing field for Main Street vs. Internet sales tax.
Almond adopted a letter to Congress from 44 Governors:
The nation’s governors have a strong and unified message to Congress: deal fairly with Main Street retailers, consumers, and local governments. In a letter sent to all members of Congress late Friday, 44 governors said:
If you care about a level playing field for Main Street retail businesses and local control of states, local governments, and schools, extend the moratorium on taxing Internet access ONLY with authorization for the states to streamline and simplify the existing sales tax system. To do otherwise perpetuates a fundamental inequity and ignores a growing problem. The current moratorium on Internet access taxes, like those consumers pay to Internet service providers, and multiple and discriminatory taxes is scheduled to expire in October. The moratorium does not apply to sales taxes.
Currently, sales and use taxes are owed on all online transactions, but states are prohibited from requiring “remote sellers” to collect and remit those levies.
A 1992 US Supreme Court decision said states can only require sellers that have a physical presence in the same state as the consumer to collect so-called use taxes. In instances when a seller does not have a physical presence, consumers are required to calculate and remit the taxes owed to their home states at the end of the year. The problem is most people are unaware that they’re supposed to pay, and states lack an effective enforcement mechanism. Online and catalog sellers, thereby, have a significant price advantage over Main Street businesses that must collect a sales tax on all transactions.
The loophole creates serious budget problems for schools, states, and local governments. A study estimated that states could lose as much as $14 billion by 2004 if they are unable to collect existing taxes on Web-based sales. Nearly half of state revenues come from sales taxes.
Source: NGA Press Release, "Level Playing Field" 01-NGA18 on Aug 20, 2001
Create International Northern and Biotechnology Corridor.
Almond signed the New England Governors' Conference resolution:
Source: NEG/ECP Resolution 23-6: Biotechology Corridor 98-NEGC6 on Jun 9, 1998
- WHEREAS, the biotechnology industry already contributes substantially to Northeast economies and is rapidly expanding; and
- WHEREAS, a common interest has emerged among New England States and Eastern Canadian Provinces to promote cooperation in biotechnology; and
- WHEREAS, certain activities, information exchanges, and initiatives originating in individual states and provinces can be shared by all jurisdictions synergistically; and
- WHEREAS, such efforts should be coordinated to optimize the returns on public investments; and
- WHEREAS, there is common agreement among jurisdictional governmental and biotechnology leaders that a coordinating structure should be created;
- NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Conference of New England Governors and Eastern Canadian Premiers support the creation of an International Northern and Biotechnology Corridor to promote biotechnology developments withing the region.
- BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT the Conference, through the Secretariats, establish a coordinating mechanism to move the initiative forward and that a progress report be presented to the Conference at its 1999 meeting.