SSTI Digest

The latest reporting and analysis on breakthroughs in technology-based economic development research and issues that matter most to you. To receive the SSTI Weekly Digest via email, sign up here.


Geography: Alaska

Universities search for new funding to make up for decreasing state aid; long-term impacts unknown

The state of Alaska is in the midst of a funding crisis that could devastate the viability of the University of Alaska, and recent research from a National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) working paper shows that the loss of funding could have long-term impacts for the system. While highly ranked research universities have been able to adapt to declining subsidies by raising tuition, attracting out-of-state and international students, and sometimes raising funding from philanthropic sources, public universities outside of this top tier have not been able to replace lost dollars, say the paper’s authors.

States’ fiscal picture improves with growing economy

The ability of states to deliver the services promised to its residents relies on their fiscal soundness. With most states beginning their fiscal year in July, SSTI has reviewed the current fiscal standing for each state and here presents a snapshot of our findings.

Most states ended their fiscal year with a surplus and continue to recover from the Great Recession, with a growing economy and job gains. However, they face continuing demands on their budgets, with expanded Medicaid payments and the growing opioid crisis confronting nearly every state. Such decisions affect the state’s ability to fund innovation efforts, from the amount of support available for higher education and STEM programs, to funding for entrepreneurship, and forging public private partnerships to strengthen innovation programming that the private sector cannot fully support.

Our analysis found that some states that rely on the energy sector to fund their spending priorities continue to struggle, while others are already factoring in anticipated revenues as a result of new Supreme Court rulings involving gaming and online sales tax collections.

State budget proposals reflect economy: AK, CO, FL, MS, WY reviewed

States are beginning their next round of budget proposals, following last year’s cautious approach to budgeting. SSTI begins its review of the proposals this week, presenting findings on how states are funding elements of the innovation economy with a review of Alaska, Colorado, Florida and Wyoming state budgets. While Alaska and Wyoming continue to recover from budget shortfalls exacerbated by their dependence on the energy industry, Colorado and Florida both include initiatives to increase funding to higher education and Mississippi looks to join those state offering free tuition with a proposal for free community college through the creation of a Mississippi Works Scholars Program.

Nine states explore science policy fellowships

After training nearly 80 PhD scientists and engineers in the craft of policy making, the California Council on Science and Technology (CCST) has awarded planning grants to nine other states to evaluate the potential to create a policy fellowship for scientists and engineers in their state capital. The new one-year grant, which is administered by CCST and funded by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and the Simons Foundation, will support teams in Alaska, Colorado, Connecticut, Idaho, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, North Carolina, and Washington as they work on feasibility studies and other strategic steps toward creating science fellowships in their state policy arenas.

Tech Talkin’ Govs, Part III: AK, IN, MI, NM, NV, RI talk feature education, workforce initiatives

SSTI’s latest Tech Talkin’ Govs installment excerpts TBED highlights from governors’ speeches in Alaska, Indiana, Michigan, New Mexico, Nevada and Rhode Island. Education and workforce are focal points in this latest round of the state of the state addresses, as they have been in the two previous posts. Varying issues are factored into the speeches, from the $3 billion fiscal gap in Alaska to the proposed free college tuition in Rhode Island.

Alaska

Western Govs Target Education in FY17 Spending Plans

A number of governors around the U.S. have already begun rolling out budget proposals for the next legislative session. This week, SSTI examines gubernatorial spending recommendations related to research, commercialization, STEM education and entrepreneurship in Alaska, South Dakota and Utah. See our previous article on proposals in Florida and Wyoming.

Budget Update: Economic Development Remains Priority Despite Contentious Debates in Many States

Now that many governors have signed spending bills and legislative sessions are drawing to a close, the SSTI Digest will check on the status of proposals related to the innovation economy, and examine the state of technology-based economic development funding in the states. This week, we review spending bills in Alaska, Connecticut, Louisiana, South Carolina and Vermont.

State Budget Roundup: IN Legislators Approve Funding for Regional Cities Initiative

Over the past few months, SSTI has followed proposals issued by governors in their budget requests, State of the State Addresses, Inaugural Speeches and other events. Now that many state legislatures have begun approving budgets, the Digest will check on the status of these proposals, and examine the state of technology-based economic development funding in the states. This week, we review actions in Alaska, Colorado and Indiana.

More Funding for Higher Ed, STEM in State Budget Plans

As the outlook for general revenue funds improves in many states, governors are looking to boost investment in higher education and STEM as a means for growing the economy and enhancing the workforce. Universities' economic return to states can be quite impactful.

Mid-Session Update on State TBED Proposals

As many states near the mid-point of their 2012 legislative sessions, we thought it would be a good time to take a look at some of the bills advancing in statehouses that could impact states' efforts to improve economic conditions. Several states are seeking to advance access to capital initiatives as they continue to struggle with declining revenue and tight credit restrictions. The following overview provides a sampling of TBED bills supporting access to capital, R&D enhancements and higher education standards.

Providing Access to Capital

Tech Talkin' Govs: Part II

The second installment of SSTI's Tech Talkin' Govs series includes excerpts from speeches delivered in Alaska, Colorado, Missouri, and New Mexico. Our first installment was in the Jan. 11 Digest. Alaska Gov. Sean Parnell, State of the State Address, Jan. 19, 2012 "I also thank you for working with me to create a merit scholarship that gives all Alaska's children an incentive to complete a more rigorous high school curriculum. ... "... In its first year, this scholarship has been a remarkable success. Now we must secure it for future years.

Alaska Lawmakers Endow Performance-based Scholarships with $400M

To ensure funding is available in future years for students who complete a more rigorous high school curriculum focused on math and science, the legislature set aside $400 million for performance-based scholarships in the capital budget. The FY12 operating budget also includes $6 million in first-year funding for the program, which will be available to high school students graduating in 2011.

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