As state legislative sessions get underway across the country, the Pelican Center for Technology and Innovation released “Principles for Lawmakers: How to Think About Emerging Technologies,” a deep dive policy paper to give tips and advice to policymakers on the subject.

In it, we lay out how important the light regulatory touch has been at the federal level in ensuring that America is a leader in the technology and innovation space. Despite this good federal approach, many evolving technologies are currently facing regulation at the state and even local level.

Technologies such as the sharing economy, 5G, and autonomous vehicles will need a smart regulatory structure to thrive in this country. In order to help lawmakers think through these and other emerging issues, the Pelican Center for Technology and Innovation has set out these principles for consideration:

    • Avoid pre-emptive regulations of emerging technology
    • Examine whether current laws can be applied to new technologies
    • Use emerging technology as an opportunity to reduce regulation in legacy industries
    • Create statewide frameworks to ensure regulatory certainty


By utilizing these principles, lawmakers can ensure they are taking a thoughtful approach to regulation in their state. This is crucial for not only ensuring that America continues to lead the way in technology and innovation, but also to secure the economic benefits states are gaining from innovation.

You can read the entire paper here or take a look at the brief one-page overview here.