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The High Tech Agenda

April 2024

State Government News & Public Policy Updates

New Data on Outmigration, Weakening State Tax Revenue Trends Continue to Reflect Business Climate Woes

As outmigration from Massachusetts continues, two new reports provide more insight into who is leaving, why they are leaving, and what the economic toll on Massachusetts could be.

A new study from Boston University and Pioneer Institute finds that income tax rates and housing and health care costs are top drivers of outmigration and estimates that by 2030 net outmigration could cost Massachusetts $961 million in lost tax revenue

“The findings from the BU study underscore the concerning repercussions of the increasing exodus of residents, taxpayers, job creators, and philanthropists from Massachusetts to comparable states. It’s imperative that state leaders acknowledge this trend as more than just a series of isolated anecdotes. Implementing decisive measures to strengthen the diminishing business environment, tackle burdensome housing expenses, ensure stability in access to healthcare, and attract and retain skilled talent is crucial for the state’s future prosperity,” said Council President Chris Anderson.

Another study from the Boston Foundation highlights “a large and growing net loss of 25–44-year-olds,” a population that is critical to the future workforce of the Commonwealth.

Meanwhile, state tax revenue collections fell short of benchmarks for seven straight months (August-February) before coming in above the benchmark for March. This was the longest streak of below-benchmark revenue months in over 20 years. Overall, tax revenue collections are running $145M below benchmarks for FY24. These below-expected revenue collections necessitated mid-year budget cuts by Governor Healey in January.

The Council will continue to monitor these concerning trends as we recommend initiatives under our MassVision2050 banner to the House and Senate that leverage our innovation economy assets and strengthen workforce growth and talent retention. See below for specific details. 

MassVision2050 Alignment with the Governor’s Economic Development Strategy

In February, the Council hosted a MassVision2050 discussion, Shaping Massachusetts’ Future: MassVision2050 & the Governor’s Economic Development Plan.

We shared an overview of the innovation sector data deep dives conducted by Knowledge Partner McKinsey & Company and previewed two member-led MassVision2050 projects: the Impact of AI in Healthcare, spearheaded by the Boston Consulting Group, and the FinTech Innovation & Research Center (FIRC). These initiatives extend beyond theory to actionable ventures aimed at driving long-term state GDP growth by assembling public, private, and academic experts into collaborative working groups.

Massachusetts Economic Development Secretary Yvonne Hao highlighted the Healey-Driscoll Administration’s Economic Development Plan. As Secretary Hao noted, the administration’s plan is closely aligned with MassVision2050 and its focus on strengthening Massachusetts’ competitive advantages to boost investment and job growth across the state.

Soon after this event, the Healey-Driscoll administration filed an economic development bill that contains the framework to capitalize on expanding economic opportunities across our innovation economy and resonates strongly with the data and opportunities for expanding state GDP being generated under MassVision2050.

Massachusetts AI Strategic Task Force

In February, Governor Healey established the Artificial Intelligence Strategic Task Force and filed an economic development bill that includes $100M for an Applied AI Hub. The AI Task Force is charged with studying AI and Generative AI technology and making recommendations for how the Commonwealth can advance and support AI adoption in key innovation sectors, including health care, financial services, and robotics. Several Council members are represented on the Task Force and the work of this Task Force is aligned with key elements of our MassVision2050 member-led initiatives. The Council’s Vice President of Policy and Government Affairs, Elizabeth Mahoney, has been appointed to two of the working groups of this Task Force—on health care and financial services—and we look forward to sharing our work and recommendations with the Task Force.

2024 Voters Anticipate Initiative Petitions

The Legislature’s Special Committee on Initiative Petitions held a hearing on each of the ballot questions that have been certified for the 2024 ballot. The Council recently submitted testimony on two of the topics that are of particular concern to our members.

MCAS Ballot Question

MCAS: The Council submitted testimony in opposition to the ballot question that would eliminate the use of the MCAS exam as a statewide standard for high school graduation and allow each school district to establish its own criteria for graduation. We oppose this proposal, as it would jeopardize the futures of Massachusetts high school graduates, endanger the state’s standing as a national leader in education, and put the state’s economy at a further competitive disadvantage.

Lyft Uber

Lyft-Uber: The Council also submitted testimony in favor of a collection of ballot questions that would help Massachusetts retain app-based rideshare and delivery service technology platforms (such as Lyft and Uber) while ensuring the drivers maintain flexibility as workers and receive robust benefits and protections. Under these initiative petitions, these services would continue to be a valuable resource for the people of Massachusetts, including the many workers across the state who rely on these services to get to and from their jobs.

MHTC News & Updates

Dedicated to Growth…Committed to Action

Our tagline, “Dedicated to Growth…Committed to Action” highlights a distinctive quality of our members that sets us apart in the Massachusetts business landscape. As an organization, we don’t merely advocate for progress; we actively drive it. Our commitment lies in tangible results, collaborative initiatives, and unwavering support of the tech-driven economy in Massachusetts. Through principled leadership and strategic action, we drive growth, innovation, and prosperity for our members and the Commonwealth.

Massachusetts High Technology Council Logo

In 2024, almost every business is a tech/innovation-driven business and should find a “fit” within our membership. Yet not every business leader is “committed to action.” The Council welcomes senior executive leaders with principled leadership qualities to build on our decades-long positive leadership.

If you are not currently a member of the Council and are interested in strengthening our impact by joining the team to help advance our agenda to create and protect a strong and competitive Massachusetts, contact Council President Chris Anderson.

Inaugural Member-Only MassVision2050 CIO Cybersecurity Meeting

The exponential growth of cybercrime on a global scale is undeniable, making every organization a viable target. The urgency to address this escalating threat has given rise to the MassVision2050 Cybersecurity Collaboration Community (CCC), a collaborative initiative within the Council’s MassVision2050 Innovation Sector efforts. Launched with support from MKS Instruments, the CCC aims to facilitate a dynamic and interactive space where Council member organizations can foster a resilient community to effectively anticipate, respond to, and recover from cyber threats.

Mastering incident response best practices and fostering cyber resilience in the ever-evolving landscape of cyber threats isn’t just a strategic choice—it’s an imperative for organizations to safeguard their operations. That’s why the CCC is focusing on the lifecycle of Incident Response Best Practices and Cyber Resilience for its inaugural member-only gathering on June 11, 2024. The Council and leaders of the CCC invite CIOs, senior executives, and cybersecurity experts to join us as we delve into a comprehensive exploration of the lifecycle, starting with context-setting and the initial phases. The agenda for this member-only session will include:

  • Context-setting and Overview of Incident Response and Cyber Resilience
  • Expert Sessions on Transitioning from VPN to Zero Trust: A Case Study, Legal Considerations in Cybersecurity, and Cyber Insurance
  • Panel Discussions featuring firsthand experiences shared by CIOs and Senior Executives from Member Organizations
  • Collaborative Networking Opportunities for attendees to engage, share insights, and build connections

Invitations were sent to members earlier this week and provide further details on the event agenda and RSVP instructions.

Interested in getting involved? Contact Council President Chris Anderson to learn how you or your CIO can join the growing coalition of senior technology executives participating in the CCC.

Member Corner

Please Join Us in Welcoming Our New Members!

Tech April 2024 Axcelis Technologies
Tech April 2024 Entegris
Tech April 2024 •	Babson College
Tech April 2024 Mack Technologies
Tech April 2024 Cognex Corporation
Vestigo Ventures Tech April 2024
Tech April 2024 Commonwealth Counsel

Member Discount: Bentley University Executive & Professional Education Programs

Looking to elevate your leadership game or empower your workforce with cutting-edge skills? Look no further than Council member Bentley University’s Executive and Professional Education programs. Designed to help you be a force in 2024, Bentley is offering a range of executive and professional education programs that will give you the skills to make an impact. Whether you’re an individual seeking to enhance your skillset or a company looking for targeted talent development, Bentley’s open enrollment programs offer practical knowledge to increase value in your organization. Led by Bentley’s faculty of ongoing practitioners, these interactive courses deliver relevant, applicable content to drive success in today’s business landscape, covering topics such as AI for businesses, global sustainability, DEI leadership, and even a Mini-MBA in management essentials. Council members can receive a discount by using the following promo codes: CORPORATE (30% discount) or NONPROF for nonprofits (50% discount). Don’t miss out—click here to explore the offerings for Spring and Fall 2024.

Additionally, mark your calendars for the 19th edition of the Gearing Up Conference on June 13th, 2024! This transformative and inspirational event is tailored for women across intersectionality in their early to mid-leadership careers. This year’s theme, “Stretch to the C-Suite,” provides you with the skills, knowledge, inspiration, and connections necessary to mark a new milestone in your professional growth and connect with like-minded individuals. Click here to secure your spot! Questions? Reach out to Bentley here.

WPI Launches First-in-the-Nation FinTech Ph.D. Program

Council member Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has launched the nation’s first FinTech Ph.D. program, making it the only university in the U.S. to offer degree programs at all levels in FinTech, including bachelor’s, master’s, and now doctoral degrees. Strategically designed to address both local and global education, innovation, and workforce needs, WPI’s new program will provide students with a comprehensive, multidisciplinary education that bridges finance, mathematics, computer science, and ethics. The introduction of this doctoral degree program aligns with Massachusetts’ growing prominence as a FinTech hub, as online payment services, mobile banking, and cryptocurrencies continue to drive the exponential growth of the FinTech industry. We congratulate WPI on this remarkable achievement and look forward to witnessing the impact of their pioneering research and education in the realm of financial technology. To learn more, visit WPI’s website.