With over 23,000 members statewide, TAG is one of the largest technology organizations in the country. It is important that we stay abreast of public policy on a state level and on a national level, especially since our ultimate goal is to make Georgia a top five state for technology by 2015.
We contacted all of the US Senate candidates in order to gain a better perspective on those running. We wanted our membership to hear their thoughts on issues concerning the growth of the technology industry in the state. The following are links to their answers and the questions that were asked.
Paul Broun (R)
Arthur A. ("Art") Gardner (R)
Phil Gingrey (R)
Derrick E. Grayson (R)
Karen C Handel (R)
Jack Kingston (R)
Steen Miles (D)
Michelle Nunn (D)
David Perdue (R)
Branko Radulovacki, MD (D)
Todd A Robinson (D)
Questions Asked of Each Candidate
Q2: Currently in Georgia, and around the Nation, there is a shortage of talent to fill open technology positions. TAG feels part of this issue is due to current H1B Visa policies that hinder highly educated foreign students from staying within the United States to work. What is your position on H1B Visas as well as border protection and illegal immigration? Would you be willing to address the H1B visa issue as a standalone issue in congress?
Q3: Ensuring students have a 21st century digital infrastructure with access to broadband internet, and fourth generation (4G) wireless networks has become a critical issue nationally. How do you feel congress can address this access issue? Do you feel the federal and state government can work together to bring access to Georgia’s students?
Q4: Cybersecurity has become an issue not only for consumers (i.e. Target’s recent data breach) but also for small and medium sized companies. Do you feel there should be a blanket approach to setting regulations regarding cybersecurity? Should companies be held accountable for the information they lose? How can our government assist in protecting consumers and business owners from these types of security breaches?
Q5: STEM education has become an important part of Georgia schools and is crucial in filling US jobs. As a nation, the United States has dropped in the STEM rankings among other nations. How can we better prepare STEM students for the 21st century work force? How can congress assist schools in the implementation of STEM? What ideas do you have to make STEM a priority nationally?
Q6: The House of Representatives passed a bill addressing patent reform (The Innovation Act HB3309, which was overwhelmingly bipartisan with a 325 yea-vote and 91 no-vote count), and the issue of patent trolling. Currently, the bill resides in the Senate. If this legislation is not passed during 2014, what steps will you take to insure this legislation continues to move through the process?
Q7: What ways do you feel our government and, you specifically, can encourage entrepreneurs and the entrepreneurial spirit in America? President Obama stated “We should be making it easier and faster to turn new ideas into new jobs and new businesses. And we should knock down any barriers that stand in the way. Because if we’re going to create jobs now and in the future, we’re going to have to out-build and out-educate and out-innovate every other country on Earth.” After reading this statement, what reactions do you have to his ideas on assisting entrepreneurs?
Q8: If elected, how will you work to balance our nation’s budget? Will you support innovation and technology within the budget?
For more information regarding this survey, contact Heather Miner at Heather@tagonline.org or 404-920-2022