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Tech Talkin’ Govs Part V: MD, ME, TX keep education in mind

February 09, 2017

With the latest round of state of the state or budget addresses, the states’ governors focused on their states’ financial situation. Education and economic development were still on the minds of leaders in Maine, Maryland, and Texas. With this fifth installment, less than 10 governors have yet to deliver their addresses in the coming weeks or months.

Maine

Gov. Paul R. LePage began his state of the state commenting that the state’s economy and way of life “are under attack.” In his proposals to keep young people in the state and increase higher wages he focused on higher education:

“We are also reducing the cost of higher education. We have increased funding to the University of Maine System, the Maine Community College System and Maine Maritime Academy to help control tuition cost.

“We want to make it easier for young people to stay in Maine. I will once again propose funding for zero-interest loans for all higher ed students who decide to live and work in Maine.

“We are trying to attract small businesses and successful young professionals. We need creative innovators with an entrepreneurial spirit.”

Maryland

Two years into his term, Gov. Larry Hogan delivered his state of the state address last week and also mentioned higher education and college debt as areas of focus:

“And we’re investing record amounts for higher education with a budget that includes $1.35 billion for the university system; more than $256 million for Maryland’s community colleges; and to continue our commitment to make college more affordable, we are providing an additional $17.5 million specifically for tuition relief, so that 14 Maryland universities and colleges can now cap tuition growth at two percent, rather than the five percent they were proposing.

“And we are asking for your help to tackle the growing problem of college debt by passing the Student Debt Relief Act, which will allow Marylanders to deduct one hundred percent of the interest paid on their student loans from their state income tax return.”

Texas

Although Gov. Greg Abbott is known to deviate from his prepared remarks, his transcript focused on education, border security and taxes and some TBED-related references:

“We all know that Texas leads the nation in areas like oil and gas. Importantly though, Texas is in the middle of an innovation renaissance that weans our economy off of energy. Biotech. Defense tech. Wearable tech. Clean tech.  …[W]e need to further diversify our economy by attracting jobs to Texas from outside the energy sector.

“The Enterprise Fund has been doing just that. In the past two years, the fund has attracted more than a half a billion dollars in capital investment and added thousands of new jobs.

“Another way for Texas to grow jobs is by cutting taxes and regulations on business. …As far as I’m concerned, the only good tax is a dead tax. We must continue to cut the business franchise tax until it fits in a coffin.”

Maine, Maryland, Texasstate budgets, tech talkin govs