SSTI Digest

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Geography: California

California governor announces $1.1 billion from SSBCI

Gov. Gavin Newson of California announced that the state is approved for $1.1 billion of funding from the State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI), which represents the largest funding amount that has been approved in the SSBCI program. The funding will support the launch of a new $200 million venture capital program and and will help fund small business credit support programs. The allocated amount will be equally split between the California Infrastructure and Economic Development Bank (IBank) and the California Pollution Control Financing Authority.

Arkansas, Indiana and California form international agreements on tech innovation, climate change and manufacturing

Three states — Indiana, California and Arkansas — have recently participated in international diplomacy, creating strategic connections and developing agreements to address climate change and trade barriers with the United Kingdom, New Zealand, and Canada. These recent agreements may suggest a shift toward innovation-focused diplomacy at the state level with nations across the globe.

California proposes billions for climate initiatives, additional money for innovation programs

Earlier this month, California Gov. Gavin Newsom released his proposed FY 2022-2023 budget, which he said “reinforces our role as the global leader in climate protection, innovation and job creation.” The budget focuses on new investments and “positions the state as a global leader in innovation and solutions to both mitigate and adapt to the changing climate.” The proposal includes billions in one-time funding from various sources over five years to advance the state’s climate and opportunity budget and provide equitable climate solutions. Additional money is proposed for innovation hubs, clean energy and more.

Higher education, lower taxes in governors’ plans for growth

Several more State of the State addresses were delivered already this month, leaving just a few states yet to go and the pandemic and recovery from the pandemic, not surprisingly, continue to feature heavily in governors’ plans. Energy opportunities, tax cuts, broadband and shifts in the model for higher education are in play in this week’s review of addresses from California, Florida, New Hampshire and Wyoming.

States dealt blow with pandemic

In general, the effect of the pandemic on states’ budgets due to the wave of business, retail, and commerce shutdowns, as well as other reduced economic activity across the nation, is not entirely known, or too early to forecast; however, a number of states are beginning to experience the initial impacts of a substantial downturn. With several states having already enacted their 2020-21 budgets, special sessions are expected later this year to deal with declining revenues. Others ended sessions early without a new fiscal year spending plan in place. Many are also acting quickly to help mitigate the effects of lost revenues and an increased demand for services. Some of the states’ impacts and actions are outlined below.

Tech Talkin’ Govs 2020: NH offers help for students, CA for homeless

Two more governors have delivered their state of the state addresses over the past two weeks, with help for students taking the stage in New Hampshire while California’s governor enumerated the state’s growth and strengths, but devoted most of his remarks to the ongoing problem of homelessness. There are just a few remaining addresses, and SSTI will continue to cover the governor’s remarks and bring you excerpts of their speeches as they relate to their innovation initiatives.

Billions proposed in bond proposals and other state initiatives to address climate change

Voters on both coasts may be asked to approve funding this year to help combat the challenges of climate change. Governors in both New York and California are proposing measures to tackle environmental issues, with New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo launching a “Restore Mother Nature Act,” which his office is calling the nation’s most aggressive program for habitat restoration and flood reduction, and California Gov. Gavin Newsom is proposing a climate budget that would invest $12.5 billion over the next five years.

States take the lead on climate change

When Gov. Janet Mills addressed the United Nations General Assembly on Sept. 23, it was the first time a sitting governor of Maine has been asked to address the body. She had been invited as part of her participation in the UN Climate Action Summit 2019, and has made tackling climate change and embracing renewable energy key priorities of her administration. She is not the only governor stepping into the role where the federal government has backed out. Twenty five states are now part of the United States Climate Alliance; a collection of states that have committed to taking action that addresses the climate challenge and implement policies that advance the goals of the Paris Agreements, aiming to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 26-28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025. Mills, along with governors from Illinois, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico and Pennsylvania, all joined this year. They are part of the increasing action seen across the states in clean energy, climate change and carbon reduction. This story takes a look at some of the 2019 developments in the states.

Free tuition offerings continue to evolve in states across the US

New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham became the latest governor to propose a plan for free tuition, with what has been called the “one of the most ambitious attempts to make higher education more accessible.” If approved, the plan would allow in-state students to attend any of the 29 state public colleges or universities, regardless of income. It is designed as a “last-dollar” program. If approved, it would be just the second state to offer full tuition coverage to its residents (New York offers the Excelsior scholarship, which will be fully phased in in 2020), according to New Mexico’s governor.

Tech Talkin’ Govs, part 6: Education, workforce, climate change top TBED agendas

Educating the next generation of workers, ensuring they will have the skills necessary for the jobs of the future and paying attention to the actions that will affect the climate are all on the agendas of the latest round of governors giving their state of the state and budget addresses. A focus on skills can be seen in addresses from governors in California, Maine, Michigan, Oklahoma and Pennsylvania. States are also continuing with initiatives to forward attention on climate change, as reflected in Maine’s climate agenda and Michigan joining other states in the Climate Alliance.

Tech Talkin’ Govs part 4: Opportunity Zones, workforce development, tech hubs, and more in governors plans to build economies

Governors are reaching into their toolkits to build tech-based economies, utilizing Opportunity Zones, tax credits, broadband infrastructure and workforce development initiatives among other things. This week, as we continue to review their state of the state addresses for TBED news, we see some governors still trying to reshape their states’ struggling economies while others are building on past successes and proposing new initiatives.

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.

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