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Budget Update: Hawaii Sets Ambitious Energy Goals; TBED Spending Approved in DE, OR, WI

July 30, 2015

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 Delaware, Hawaii, Oregon, and Wisconsin.

Earlier this month, Gov. Jack Markell signed a $3.9 billion FY16 operating budget (HS 1 for HB 225) and $456 million capital budget (SS 1 for SB 160). Under the approved budget, the state's Economic Development Office would receive about $2.8 million in general funds and $6 million in special funds. About $1.7 million is appropriated for the state's Blue Collar workforce programs. In his State of the State, Gov. Markell proposed using programs, such as the Blue Collar grants, to provide 65 percent of the state's workforce with degrees or certificates by 2025.

In May, Gov. David Ige signed a $26 billion budget (HB 500) that included about $30 million in tech-related appropriations. The budget provides funding for the state's High Technology Development Corporation (HTDC) to pursue its "80/80" goal announced earlier in the year to create 80,000 jobs in innovation sectors earning $80,000 or more by the year 2030.

Much of the tech activity during this year's legislative session focused on the energy sector. Hawaii is now the first state to set an official policy goal to move to 100 percent renewable sources by 2045. In the near-term, the state is set to increase its renewable portfolio standards to 30 percent by the end of 2020. HTDC will take an active role in achieving this goal by leading the push for hydrogen energy infrastructure and policies.

Gov. Kate Brown has signed FY16 spending bills for most agencies, including funding for the Oregon Business Development Department (SB 5525) and higher education (HB 5024). The budget authorizes about $11.3 million in fees revenues and up to $54 million in lottery money over the biennium for Business, Innovation and Trade activities at Business Oregon. Another $7.3 million is authorized for the state's Regional Solutions Centers, which develop local innovation strategies in partnership with universities.

The budget for the Oregon Manufacturing Extension Partnership (OMEP) was more than doubled from $500,000 to $1.25 million in biennial funding through Oregon Business, according to OMEP. Read the OMEP press release...

Wisconsin's $73 billion FY 2016-17 biennial state budget (SB 21) was signed by Gov. Scott Walker earlier this month, after vetoing 104 line items. The budget freezes tuition at University of Wisconsin campuses, but reduces university funding by $250 million.

About $65 million is appropriated over the biennium for the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation. A few of governor's vetoes were intended to remove restrictions the budget placed on how the agency could use its funds.

The budget increases the cap on the Enterprise Zone Jobs Credit program, consolidates the Economic Development Credit and Jobs Tax Credits into a single Business Development Tax Credit and finalizes the phase-in of the Manufacturing and Agriculture Credit.

A section of the budget that would have modified the definition of a "bona fide angel investment" under the angel investment credit program to include convertible note was vetoed.

Delaware, Hawaii, Oregon, Wisconsinstate budget