Senator Alex PadillaSACRAMENTO, Calif. /California Newswire/ — Senator Alex Padilla (D-Pacoima) last week was presented with the “Tech Champion” Award from TechNet, at TechNet’s Annual Policy Conference and Tech Academy. TechNet is the leading bipartisan political network whose members represent some of the world’s leading technology companies including Google, Cisco, Facebook, Intel, Oracle, Ebay and Microsoft. The award was given to Senator Padilla for authoring legislation that promotes California’s leadership in innovation and technology.

“I am honored to receive this award from TechNet,” said Senator Padilla. “California is home to the Internet economy, which has transformed our world and provided tremendous benefits and choices for consumers. I remain committed to championing policies that foster research, development and investment in technological innovation and to ensuring that California remains a leader for many years to come,” said Padilla.

“We are thrilled to give this award to Senator Padilla,” said Jim Hawley, Senior Vice President, State Policy, of TechNet. “He is viewed as one of California’s most effective legislators and is widely respected. Senator Padilla has been an incredible friend to the tech community and we applaud his dedication in promoting discovery and keeping California the global home for innovation.”

As Chair of the Senate Energy, Utilities and Communications Committee, Senator Padilla has taken the lead to make certain that California remains at the forefront of innovation and technology by successfully authoring legislation that:
* Established the California Broadband Council and the California Advanced Services Fund in order to eliminate the “digital divide” by expanding broadband accessibility, literacy, adoption, and usage to every corner of the state;
* Expanded access to the Teleconnect Fund and established the California Virtual Campus;
* Ensured that Voice over IP services are regulated by the PUC and other agencies, as directed by the Legislature;
* Established standards for autonomous self-driving vehicles;
* Created a framework to strengthen the Smart Grid in California;
* Helped clean energy and advanced manufacturing companies expand in California by reducing sales tax on equipment used for manufacturing.

The “Tech Champion” award is given annually by TechNet California to a California legislator or public official who has proven to be exceptionally effective in advocating for a pro-innovation policy agenda and has taken initiative to boost investments in education, research and create an environment conducive to entrepreneurship and job creation.

TechNet is a national, bipartisan network of CEOs that promotes the growth of technology industries and the economy by building long-term relationships between technology leaders and policymakers and by advocating a targeted policy agenda. TechNet’s members represent more than one million employees in the fields of information technology, biotechnology, e-commerce and finance. TechNet has offices in Washington, D.C., Palo Alto, Sacramento, Seattle, Boston and Austin.