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AR, NY Legislatures Approve Economic Development Spending

April 02, 2015

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 Arkansas, Mississippi and New York.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson signed off on $8.5 million in FY16 funding for the operation of the Arkansas Science and Technology Authority (ASTA) (SB 31). Beyond operations, $1.9 million was appropriated for ASTA's seed capital investments and another $18.7 million was allotted for the Arkansas Acceleration Fund. Up to $5 million of the Acceleration Fund dollars will be available for use by Innovation Arkansas. The Acceleration Fund received another $30 million through a separate operations budget (SB 111) for the Arkansas Economic Development Commission.

ASTA's MEP office, Arkansas Manufacturing Solutions, will receive $2.6 million, including $941,110 in federal funds, $257,182 in state funds and $1.5 million from the state's cash fund.

In his January State of the State Address, Gov. Phil Bryant proposed a two-year, $50 million new workforce training initiative, the Keep Mississippi Working Fund (SB 2457). He also backed a new $3 million pilot Mississippi Works Scholarship fund (see the related Digest article) (SB 2452). Neither of the initiatives was approved by the state legislature.

New York
New York legislators approved a $142 billion budget (A3000-A3012), which was delayed by last minute negotiations over education funding. The final bill includes $1.3 billion to reform the state's education system, according to Reuters. Read budget highlights...

About $2.3 billion is appropriated for economic development capital projects (A3004). This funding includes $110 million for another round of the SUNY2020 and CUNY2020 challenge grant programs to improve academic programs and spur university efforts to support regional economies.

The capital budget also includes $1.5 billion for Gov. Cuomo's Upstate Revitalization Fund, which will provide awards of $500 million to three of the state's seven economic regions. New York regions will also be eligible for economic development support through the continuing Regional Economic Development Councils (REDC) program. The budget includes $150 million for priority projects and $70 million in state tax credits for a fifth round of REDC awards.

State support for local economic development efforts totals $59 million (A3003). This figure includes $41 million in support for the state's high-tech economic development efforts, including centers of excellence, research centers, incubator support and high-tech matching grants.

Another $500 million is allotted to help deliver high-speed broadband services to the whole state by 2018.



Arkansas, Mississippi, New Yorkstate budget