Va. U.S. Senators Introduce the "Startup Act" - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Va. U.S. Senators Introduce the "Startup Act"

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WASHINGTON – Virginia's U.S. senators are introducing an act to jumpstart investment and job creation, according to the office of Senator Mark Warner.

Senators Warner (D) and Tim Kaine (D) led a group of six colleagues in announcing the Startup Act.

According the Warner's office, the act makes a series of targeted proposals in tax, regulatory and immigration policy. It would create visas for highly-educated immigrants in the U.S. to let them stay here and create jobs.

“In the new Congress, we are focused on continued growth in the economy, and we're looking for ways to ensure that the U.S. is able to compete and win the global competition for talented innovators and entrepreneurs,” Sen. Warner said. “Our bipartisan legislation provides commonsense tools and greater support for startups and the creation of more high-wage, high-skill jobs in Virginia and across the country."

“First-generation Americans have always found a home for their ideas and entrepreneurial spirit in America. That's why I'm pleased to once again co-sponsor the Startup Act,” Sen. Kaine said. “By providing entrepreneurs and foreign students who are educated in American universities with the ability to pursue career opportunities here, the Startup Act will help grow Virginia's diverse talent pool, fill STEM vacancies in American companies and create employment opportunities in new business ventures for American workers.”

Research shows that for close to three decades, companies less than five years old have created almost all net new jobs in America – averaging about three million jobs each year, according to a release sent out by Warner's office. Additionally, immigrants to the U.S. have a long history of creating businesses in America. Of the current Fortune 500 companies, more than 40 percent were founded by a first- or second-generation American. These American companies employ more than 10 million people, according to Sen. Warner's office.

The Startup Act includes the following provisions:

Immigration:

· Creation of Entrepreneur Visa: Creates an Entrepreneur's Visa for legal immigrants, so they can remain in the United States, launch businesses and create jobs;

· Creation of STEM Visa: Creates a new STEM visa so U.S.-educated foreign students, who graduate with a master's or Ph.D. in science, technology, engineering or mathematics, can receive a green card and stay in this country where their talent and ideas can fuel growth and create American jobs;

· Elimination of Per-Country Caps: Eliminates the per-country caps for employment-based immigrant visas – which hinder U.S. employers from recruiting the top-tier talent they need to grow

Tax Reforms:

· Capital Gains Tax Exemption for Startups: Makes permanent the exemption of capital gains taxes on the sale of startup stock held for at least five years – so investors can provide financial stability at a critical juncture of firm growth;

· R&D Credit for Startups: Creates a limited research and development tax credit for young startups less than five years old and with less than $5 million in annual receipts. This R&D credit is designed to allow startups to offset employee taxes – freeing up resources to help these young companies expand and create jobs;

Commercialization: Uses existing federal R&D funding to support university initiatives designed to bring cutting-edge research to the marketplace more quickly where it can propel economic growth;

Regulatory Reform: Requires all government agencies to conduct a cost-benefit analysis of all proposed “significant rules” with an economic impact of $100 million or more. This new requirement will help determine the efficacy of regulations and their potential impact on the formation and growth of new businesses; and

Reports on State and Local Startup Policies: Directs the U.S. Department of Commerce to assess state and local policies that aid in the development of new businesses. Through the publication of reports on new business formation and the entrepreneurial environment, lawmakers will be better equipped to encourage entrepreneurship with the most successful policies.

Other original Startup Act cosponsors include Sens. Jerry Moran (R-KS) Chris Coons (D-DE), Roy Blunt (R-MO) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN).

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