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Budget Passes in PA, but Debate Continues; FY17 Spending Approved in AL, FL, ID, NM

March 31, 2016

Many states across the country already have, or will soon have, signed budgets ready for the 2017 fiscal year.  Over the past few months, SSTI has examined gubernatorial addresses and proposed budgets for a preview of technology-based economic development spending in the coming year. This week, we take a look at what initiatives and spending levels survived spending negotiations in Alabama, Florida, Idaho and New Mexico, as well as an update on the budget situation in Pennsylvania.

Alabama
In February, SSTI reported that Gov. Robert Bentley’s $1.9 billion fiscal year 2017 budget proposal included $7.5 million in funds for the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs (ADECA), with another $202.4 million in earmarked funds. The enrolled bill, delivered to the governor last week, includes these allocations.

The governor has pledged to veto the general fund budget due to an “unacceptable” allocation for the state’s Medicaid program and other issues. The Republican leadership, which controls both houses of the legislature plan to override any such measure, according to AL.com.

Florida
On March 17, Gov. Rick Scott signed an $82 billion FY 2017 budget, after pre-announcing a $256.1 million slate of line-item vetoes. In December, SSTI reported Gov. Scott had proposed a $250 million business attraction fund to help the state compete for large job-creation projects. Lawmakers rejected his proposal, according to the Tallahassee Democrat.

Space Florida is slated to receive $17.5 million, the amount originally proposed by Gov. Scott, while Enterprise Florida would receive $23.8 million, slightly less than proposed.

MEP’s FloridaMakes center is funded at $400,000. Other economic development-related spending includes $9.3 million for the International Consortium for Advanced Manufacturing Research, $2 million for the SouthWest Florida Collier County Immokalee/Naples Business Accelerator Program, $1 million for the Tampa Innovation Alliance, $1 million for the All Children’s Research Zone, $1 million for the Scripps Biotech Partnership and $500,000 for the South Florida Economic Development District’s Statewide Industry Cluster Analysis.

Idaho
Gov. Butch Otter has expressed displeasure with the $7.4 million FY 2017 education spending bill approved by legislators, according to the Idaho Statesman. He has not yet signed off on the bill, which would not fully fund his proposed literacy initiative for elementary students.

Gov. Otter, however, did sign off on a $36.2 million appropriation for the state Department of Commerce. The approved higher education bill includes the $166,400 Gov. Otter proposed for TechHelp, the state’s MEP center.

New Mexico
In January, Gov. Susana Martinez released a FY 2017 budget with a strong focus on small businesses and workforce support. The budget she signed in February included the $1.25 million she proposed for a new Rapid Workforce Development fund and $4 million for the state’s development training fund of the New Mexico Job Training Incentive program. The budget includes $100,000 for the Technology Research Collaborative and $1.2 million for the New Mexico Economic Development Corporation.

Pennsylvania
The ongoing budget impasse in Pennsylvania has reached a new phase. The state had operated for nine months without a FY 2016 budget until last week. Gov. Tom Wolf finally allowed a General Assembly-backed version of the budget to become law without his signature, but vetoed the accompanying fiscal code that detailed how much of the state’s funds were to be spent, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer. Gov. Wolf cited concerns about the fiscal code’s school funding formula, a proposal to borrow $2.5 billion and changes that would impact carbon emissions.

The governor’s office plans to provide subsidy funds to school districts while legislators decide what action to take on the fiscal code bill.

As it stands, the budget will keep funding for the Ben Franklin Technology Development Authority steady at $19 million in total funds.

 

Alabama, Florida, Idaho, New Mexico, Pennsylvaniastate budget