Kampf, Hackett Unveil Bill to Create Jobs and Expand Investments in State-Based Technologies
Rep. Warren Kampf (R-Montgomery/Chester) holds a press conference in Harrisburg to unveil his legislation to encourage investment in Pennsylvania’s high-tech industries. Rep. Joe Hackett is on the far right.
HARRISBURG – Reps. Warren Kampf (R-Chester/Montgomery) and Joe Hackett (R-Delaware) unveiled bipartisan legislation to encourage investment in Pennsylvania’s high-tech industries, promote entrepreneurship, and create jobs. Known as the Innovate Pennsylvania Program, the bill establishes a program to raise funds for investment in this sector through the Ben Franklin Technology Development Authority (BFTDA) and the commonwealth’s Life Science Greenhouses.
“The economic downturn and the competition for jobs across the nation require us to come up with new and out-of-the-box ideas,” Hackett said. “The Innovate Pennsylvania Program is a prime example of how we can partner with the private industry to jump-start our economy, particularly within an industry where the potential for job growth and business expansion is limitless.”
“Due to economic constraints the state’s investment in high-tech industries has been reduced from $53 million to $14 million, even though we see strong return on those investments,” Kampf said. “Compare that with the impressive programs many other states operate to support their high-tech industries, and it is no wonder businesses and entrepreneurs leave Pennsylvania, taking the jobs with them.”
Under the legislation introduced by Kampf and Hackett, the Innovate Pennsylvania Program will provide funding for investments without relying on additional General Fund expenditures by auctioning off deferred insurance premium tax credits at a reduced rate to insurance companies who pay the tax in the Commonwealth. The pledged capital will be used to make investments in Pennsylvania-based, high-growth, technology-oriented businesses through life science business incubators and the BFTDA that oversees the regional Ben Franklin Partners.
“Without clear direction, these companies will take their jobs to more accommodating states that understand that the investment is worth it because of the high-paying jobs they create,” Hackett said. “Not only are they creating jobs, but the states are seeing the returns in investments and increased tax revenue.”
New York, Ohio, New Jersey and Maryland have programs to encourage investment in these high-tech industries, which produce jobs with salaries of $60,000 and up.
“Industries such as biotechnology, medical device, software and advanced networking technology are the future of our economy,” Kampf said. “We must embrace opportunities to bolster Pennsylvania’s status as a home to these industries by supporting venture capital funding and investment in them.”
Kampf and Hackett crafted their legislation following extensive research and hearings in Southeast Pennsylvania in July.
The program is expected to generate at least $140 million for investment in high-tech companies.
State Representative Warren Kampf
157th District, Pennsylvania House of Representatives