Budget Update: Entrepreneurship Programs Survive Contentious Budget Negotiations in MN, MI, KS

June 18, 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 governors have signed spending bills, the SSTI 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 Kansas, Michigan and Minnesota.

Kansas
Gov. Sam Brownback signed House Substitute for SB 112, a $15 billion budget for fiscal year 2016.

Under the approved budget, a total of $2.7 million is appropriated for the Department of Commerce's Innovation Growth Program, and $358,568 will be available for Technology Innovation and Internship Grants. Note that SB 112 includes allocations for both fiscal years 2016 and 2017, though legislators will meet again next year to set actual FY17 levels. The figures listed above are evenly split between FY16 and FY17 to match releases from state officials.

Earlier in the session, the state legislature considered dismantling the Kansas Bioscience Authority. SB 305 would have terminated the program, reallocating its funding and functions to similar funds under the Department of Commerce. An update from BioKansas, which coordinated opposition to the measure, indicates that no action is to be taken on SB 305.

Michigan
Gov. Rick Snyder approved a $54.5 billion FY16 budget (SB 133) that did not include the proposed plans to shift economic development funds toward road improvements. Though that plan passed the state House of Representatives, the state Senate did not approve the measure, according to The Detroit News.

Gov. Snyder is touting the budget as a major investment in skilled workforce training, with a total of $85 million provided for training, placement and creating a stronger workforce pipeline. Another $21.4 million is allocated to support entrepreneurship ecosystems, and $96.7 million for business attraction and community revitalization.

The Education Omnibus bill, HB 4115, provides increases in funding for K-12, public university and community college operations.

Minnesota
On Saturday during a special session, Gov. Mark Dayton signed an Omnibus Jobs and Energy bill (HF 3) and Education Finance bill (HF 1), as part of a $42 billion biannual state budget.

The $402 million jobs and energy bill includes $123.3 million in FY16 and $105.5 million in FY17 for the Department of Employment and Economic Development. Within the department, a total of $50.8 million in FY16 and $45.9 million in FY17 is allocated for Business and Community Development.

The budget provides $10.8 million for the border-to-border broadband plan launched by Gov. Dayton in 2014. The governor had originally requested $30 million to continue the effort to expand high speed Internet access to rural areas.

The state's job creation fund will receive $12.5 million for each fiscal year, and $1.4 million each year will support the business development competitive grant program. Up to $4 million will be provided to construct an aircraft manufacturing facility. The Minnesota Jobs Skills Partnership will receive $4.2 million each year.

Kansas, Michigan, Minnesotastate budget