(Photo by Stephen Babcock)
Along with announcing a merger of two of the state’s big tech councils on Tuesday night in Annaoplis, Gov. Larry Hogan talked about how the state wants to help the tech community.
He talked about meeting with Israeli cybersecurity companies during a trip last year and opening the upgraded version of the MdBio Foundation’s mobile eXploration lab earlier that day.
With the General Assembly session in full gear, it was no mistake that the meeting was just steps from the State House. Tech has also been on the agenda for Hogan in Annapolis this year.
The governor is backing a proposal to make changes to the state’s cybersecurity investment tax credit. Under the bill, the credit goes to the investor rather than the company.
“It didn’t used to be able to apply to investors, and now we’ve changed that so we can provide incentives to investors in order to provide more capital for startup companies to help them grow and create jobs,” he said.
Support from the governor is a sign that such proposals are getting more political traction. In Hogan’s two prior sessions, bills that would’ve created a tax credit for angel investors were proposed and supported by the Greater Baltimore Committee as well as the Baltimore tech community, but did not pass in the General Assembly.
This week, he also announced the Maryland Education Innovation Fund, which is funded with a $1 million allocation to provide planning grants to schools for STEM education. Another bill formalizes the P-Tech program, which began in Baltimore this year. The governor is seeking expansion of the program to an additional six schools in the state.
The governor’s talk made clear that tech is part of the wider economic picture in the state and a piece of a business-minded administration that quickly touted the state as being “open for business.” He talked about a proposal to eliminate state taxes for 10 years for companies that create manufacturing jobs in areas of the state with the highest unemployment, including Baltimore city. The bill, called the More Jobs for Marylanders Act, is the center of his economic agenda.
“My goal is for the state to be the leader in entrepreneurship, the leader in innovation and next generation technology and the leader in groundbreaking research and discovery, that addresses some of the greatest medical mysteries of our time,” he said.