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House Speaker DeLeo talks Facebook IPO in address to Massachusetts legislature

Posted by Scott Kirsner  February 8, 2012 02:05 PM

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Robert DeLeo, the Speaker of the House in Massachusetts, gave his annual address this afternoon to set out his priorities for the year. And he had a few things to say about Facebook, economic growth, and STEM education.

DeLeo is a Democrat who represents Winthrop and Revere. An excerpt from his prepared remarks:

As I meet with business leaders across the state, increasingly I am hearing about us losing the innovation battle to other states. Too often, Iím learning that our innovators and entrepreneurs are packing-up and leaving. I donít like seeing Massachusetts finish second to any other state.

I was struck with a sense of lost opportunity, when I heard comments from Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook, saying if he had it to do over again, he would have
kept his innovative company in Massachusetts. Think of it.

This is a company with $3.7 Billion in annual revenues and recently announced plans for what is sure to be a multi-billion dollar initial public offering and it could have been based in our state.

We must do everything we can to create the most competitive economic climate. To Mark Zuckerberg, and other leaders of new companies, we want you here.

And for those who are starting companies in Massachusetts, we want you to stay. In this legislative session, I will look to find opportunities to create a friendlier, better climate for the creation of new jobs.

Whether itís blue-collar jobs, life sciences, green jobs, or manufacturing, our focus has been and will remain on growing employment opportunities for our residents. Just as in 2010, when we reorganized our economic development agencies through a measure that streamlined the system and saves taxpayers millions of dollars every year, we will continue to focus on legislation that promotes economic growth, strengthens our fiscal stability and creates good jobs throughout the Commonwealth.

In this session, we will pursue policies to maintain Massachusettsí competitive edge in the innovation economy and continue to attract the investment and jobs that come with it. And we must continue to prepare our students to fill those jobs by strengthening our commitment to education in the STEM fields of science, technology, engineering, and math.

We can also generate new investment by continuing to make it easier for businesses to start, locate, and expand here. Massachusetts has successfully nurtured new economic activity by pioneering innovative approaches to development and public infrastructure improvements. We will build on that success by exploring new ideas that promote growth and improve public services. And for businesses already committed to growing here, we will make it easier for them to recover from the recession and get their projects back on track. By facilitating new development, we can create jobs across industry sectors, across pay scales, and across the Commonwealth.

As we pay attention to start-ups and the innovation economy, we also are focused on the workforce of the future. We in the House have long believed that we can do a better job of making sure our community colleges address the needs of potential employers....

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Scott Kirsner was part of the team that launched Boston.com in 1995, and has been writing a column for the Globe since 2000. His work has also appeared in Wired, Fast Company, The New York Times, BusinessWeek, Newsweek, and Variety. Scott is also the author of the books "Fans, Friends & Followers" and "Inventing the Movies," was the editor of "The Convergence Guide: Life Sciences in New England," and was a contributor to "The Good City: Writers Explore 21st Century Boston." Scott also helps organize several local events on entrepreneurship, including the Nantucket Conference and Future Forward. Here's some background on how Scott decides what to cover, and how to pitch him a story idea.

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