"At any given time, one state can introduce legislation that can impact the entire industry, for better or for worse."
This morning, Christopher Hansen, president and CEO of the American Electronics Association (AEA), announced an overall plan to expand and strengthen AeA's state government affairs program. As the largest high-tech trade association in the country, AeA will be in a position to further enhance its abilities to represent the high-tech industry.
To strengthen the program, AeA will focus on three initiatives, including:
"Legislation affecting the high-tech industry isn't limited to just one state," said Hansen. "At any given time, one state can introduce legislation that can impact the entire industry, for better or for worse. By strengthening our State Government Affairs program, AeA will have a greater presence across the country, and we can do an even better job representing our member companies."
"Expanding the state program further solidifies AeA as the comprehensive lobbying powerhouse for the high-tech industry," said Jim Wall, Microsoft regional government affairs director, and chair of the AeA SGA program. "It is clear that Chris Hansen understands the importance of this program to Microsoft and AeA's other member companies. He is taking the necessary steps to ensure AeA maintains its standing as the trusted voice of the high-tech industry in our state capitols."
With the increase in funding, AeA will dedicate approximately $6.2 million from its total operating budget to the state government affairs program. By allocating additional funds, said AeA in a release, AeA is best positioned to invest in strengthening an area of critical importance and to comprehensively address the needs of all of its members across the country.
AeA currently has 20 lobbyists working in top technology states providing member companies intelligence about legislation, and the capability to communicate with key legislators. AeA is very active in Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Washington. To maximize support and further increase its national presence, AeA will soon hire contract lobbyists in additional states, and will also be adding environmental personnel to its staff to advocate public policy and "green tech" at the international, national and state levels.
"I am also excited to announce today's launch of the AeA Information Network," said Hansen, "a new, Web-based resource which provides one-of-a-kind information on issues affecting the high-tech industry. The AeA Information Network was designed to allow members to easily obtain information regarding state government affairs activities that impact their companies."
Providing a wealth of information about legislative activity in states where AeA lobbies, members will be able to obtain and share intelligence from states around the country based on issue and state-by-state analysis in readable form that is understandable by non-experts. The AeA Information Network is free of charge, and available to Association members.