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The technology industry scored a number of substantial wins over the last several years, due, in part, to the Council's advocacy and the support of Massachusetts Congressional Delegation.
  • Congress extended the Internet Tax Freedom Act, which established a moratorium on the imposition of "discriminatory" state and local taxes on Internet access and e-Commerce. Senator Edward Kennedy took a leadership role in obtaining this favorable result.
  • Congress enacted legislation granting permanent normalized trade relations with China, which enables U.S. companies to benefit from China's membership in the World Trade Organization. Senators Kennedy and Kerry and Congressmen Neal and Meehan supported this legislation.
  • Congress enacted legislation giving electronic signatures the same legal recognition as handwritten signatures, spurring the development of electronic commerce and creating significant efficiencies and cost-savings. The entire Massachusetts Congressional delegation supported final approval of this legislation.
  • Congress extended the R&D tax credit on a longer-term basis, through June 30, 2004, making the Credit a more effective tool because corporations are able to factor it into their long-term R&D spending plans. The entire Massachusetts delegation co-sponsored this legislation, recognizing that sustained investment in R&D is the engine that drives innovation in a global economy.
  • The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) improved the methods of accounting for business combinations, enabling entrepreneurs to employ an appropriate accounting treatment of goodwill when growing their businesses through mergers and acquisitions. The change specifically allows the goodwill created to be written down only to the extent that it has been impaired and not by amortization against future earnings. The Council played an active role in a national coalition working on the issued, including testifying at FASB's public hearings and before the U.S. Senate Banking Committee.
  • The Massachusetts House delegation co-sponsored legislation lifting export restrictions on mass-market encryption products, stimulating the Administration to substantially liberalize export controls on encryption software. Strong encryption software is critical to the growth of electronic commerce and to the protection of our national security.
  • Congress enacted legislation increasing the number of H1B visas granted annually from 115,000 to 195,000 through 2003. Senator Edward Kennedy's leadership in improving the education and training provisions of the legislation, and in extending the time period during which the new cap will be effective was a major factor in this success.
 

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