CURRENT LEGISLATION
UTC advocates for legislation that improves the business climate for tech companies in Utah

The results of the 2017 legislative session were extremely productive for Utah’s tech community. We applaud the Governor and state
legislature for all of their efforts to fully support Utah’s tech ecosystem. We also greatly value the engagement of UTC’s members.
Without their support, we would not have been able to accomplish all that we did. We will continue our robust public policy process
through the interim period with continued member engagement. Some of UTC’s landmark accomplishments during this time include:

2017 | ENGINEERING INITIATIVE

Again, UTC drove the $8M in new funding to increase tech graduate capacity (with University Presidents’ 1:1 match)! Thanks to the eight Universities/Colleges who were an integral part of increasing the total funding to $38M, annually. The Engineering Initiative has helped increase the number and quality of engineering graduates produced by Utah’s universities with nearly $300 million in new funding.

2017 | S.B. 190, EDUCATION COMPUTING PARTNERSHIPS

Thanks to the outstanding support of bill sponsors, the State will invest $1,255,000 annually into K-12 computing education and talent development in Utah.

2017 | S.B. 220, STUDENT ASSESSMENT AND SCHOOL ACCOUNTABILITY

This bill aspires to be an upgraded, “zip-code neutral”, update of Utah’s school accountability system. SAGE testing in high school would be replaced with ACT Aspire, and any school meeting the established criteria would receive the appropriate letter grade independent of the performance of other schools.

UTAH FUND OF FUNDS - FUND 1

UTC championed passage of this significant entrepreneurial economic development legislation – which has “fundamentally changed the state’s early-stage capital structure.” Over 200 venture capital and private equity firms have been attracted to the state’s rich high-growth innovation community investing $121M in funding commitments to 28 funds (mostly out of state since 2005) – all at no cost to state taxpayers!

USTAR

UTC played a key role in the creation and funding of the $400M Utah Science Technology and Research Initiative (USTAR) as the state’s “innovation framework.” In close collaboration with the Salt Lake Chamber and EDCUtah, it was passed and has already established an excellent track record for attracting top researchers along with their teams and federal funding to Utah’s leading research institutions to create new companies and high-paying, high-skilled jobs (2006).

$30 MILLION FOR STEM ACTION CENTER

Our top focus again in 2014 was the STEM Action Center bill. After securing a $30 million investment in the 2013 & 2014 sessions, it produced very strong early pilot results. In these two tight sessions, getting $30 million in new money for education to innovate is a very big deal! The STEM Action Center’s primary goal is to support digital professional development for teachers and “excite students” with STEM opportunities, by providing effective STEM education through digital learning tools to public K-12 classrooms statewide(2013-2014). In 2015, we were successfully able to protect and maintain full funding for the Center.

INCREASED HS RIGOR TO FILL TALENT SHORTAGE

UTC was the sole organization to strongly advocate this crucial change in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) high school graduation requirements. This enhances the Rigor of Utah high school students by requiring one additional year of math, science and language arts. After six years of deliberation without a decision and with significant persuasion from UTC, the State Board of Education passed this unanimously (2006). It went into effect in 2011.

THE TRANSPARENCY ACT (SB 59)

UTC was the strongest advocacy group that championed this bill, which gives every school one letter grade for students’ quality of STEM education and overall preparedness. The goal is to better prepare the state’s 625,000 underserved students so that they can successfully compete in the global economy for the high-demand jobs in our “hot” technology companies (2011 – 2014).

MAINSTREAM COMPUTER SCIENCE AS SCIENCE OPTION IN HIGH SCHOOLS

In 2014, UTC trustees Aaron Skonnard and Jonathan Johnson and other members were joined by Helen Hu from Westminster College to meet with the State Board of Education, and we achieved a landmark decision in “mainstreaming Computer Science” in high schools! Starting in August 2015, students are able to count a rigorous CS course as one of three science credits required for high school graduation. Students will also have the opportunity to take more rigorous CS courses, such as AP Computer Science.

JOE SWENSON
CEO, IMAGINE LEARNING

UTC is a watchdog for the technology industry. It plays a massive role in helping Utah grow and prosper as a state.”