Governors Set Course for New Economy

WASHINGTON (07/11/2000) - Culminating a year-long study of the New Economy, the U.S. National Governors' Association released seven recommendations for governors during its annual meeting this week in State College, Pa.

The reports focused on how states must realize that the high-tech industry is driving state economies. The first report, "State Strategies for the New Economy," came in February 1999, and successive reports were released in installments over the year that followed.

The NGA "agenda" is:

* Invest in people. Build the states' intellectual infrastructure by strengthening education, lifelong learning and work force skill programs.

* Build state-of-the-art infrastructure. Support knowledge-based industries by enhancing state-of-the-art broadband and telecommuncation services as well as traditional infrastructure such as ports, highways and airports.

* Treat citizens as customers. Re-engineer government to become flexible, customer-focussed, responsive, accountable and performance-oriented through the use of more privatization and partnerships with the private sector.

* Streamline taxes and regulations. Develop uniform regulatory and tax systems to increase simplicity, elimate market distortions and protect customers.

* Nuture entrepreneurs. Recognize entrepreneurs as the drivers of the new economy. Streamline business regulations, provide timely regulatory and licensing decisions and assist firms in their search for more investment.

* Create high-tech magnets. Use university systems as high-tech business magnets. Reform postsecondary education to be more closely aligned with states' economies by creating university research centers enhancing distance learning and linking academic research and commercialization.

* Preserve quality of life. Implement policies that preserve and enhance a region's quality of life, including recreational opportunities, environmental quality and community ammenities.

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