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CT, IL, NH, TX Budget Proposals Support STEM, Workforce, Research

February 19, 2015

This week, governors in Connecticut, Illinois, New Hampshire, and Texas revealed their budget proposals, with commonalities around STEM education, workforce development, and university research initiatives. Governors in two states, New Hampshire and Texas, made growth in the innovation economy a specific priority area of their proposed budgets.

New Hampshire
“Supporting a more innovative economic future” is highlighted as a priority in Gov. Maggie Hassan’s proposed $11.5 billion 2016-2017 biennial budget. Included within this goal are a variety of proposed education, workforce, and economic development proposals such as: an increase of $13 million over the biennium compared to FY 2015 for the University System of New Hampshire; a $6.5 million increase over the biennium compared to FY 2015 for the state’s community college system; increased funding for Small Business Development Centers; additional funding for education and accelerator programs at business incubators; funding for a STEM specialist at the Department of Education to modernize the state’s STEM education efforts; and, the expansion of a pilot program between the Bureau of Adult education and the Community College System to help adults enhance their skills prior to attending community college.  

Gov. Greg Abbot’s proposed $205 billion 2016-2017 biennial budget includes “emergency items” around early education, transportation funding, border security funding, ethics reform, and higher education research initiatives. As emergency items, lawmakers can begin debate in the first 60 days of the legislative session. Gov. Abbot’s proposes an additional $496 million for Texas higher education institutions with the strategic purpose of enhancing research programs and attracting nationally recognized researchers, of which $40 million is newly appropriated funds and $56 million is transferred from unobligated, pre-existing Emerging Technology Fund balances. The proposed budget also includes between $400 million and $540 million for the Cancer Prevention Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) budget to help fund cancer research and researchers at Texas universities. To promote STEM education, the governor proposes $164 million to provide students with digital learning opportunities and greater access to high-quality online courses and tools, and $12 million to attract high quality teachers with an emphasis on STEM areas. 

Gov. Dan Malloy’s proposed $40 billion 2015-2016 biennial budget would work to close a nearly $2.5 billion deficit over the biennium by increasing tax receipts by approximately $900 million, largely through altering business tax laws, and reducing spending in targeted areas such as social services and health care. Included in Gov. Malloy’s proposal, Bioscience Connecticut would receive $12.5 million over the biennium; the state’s Small Business Incubator Program would receive $735,478; the I-BEST Program would receive $3 million to support a pilot program to assist approximately 125 participants with educational and vocational skills training in Hartford.  

In the midst of a more than $6 billion budget shortfall and an underfunded pension system, Gov. Bruce Rauner’s proposed $31.5 billion FY 2016 budget ends what the governor describes as years of “financial recklessness.” The proposed budget, which includes no tax increases or additional borrowed money, features decreases in funding to areas such as Medicaid ($1.5 billion decrease compared to FY 2015), local government ($600 million decrease compared to FY 2015), higher education ($387 million decrease), and Chicagoland public transit ($128 million decrease). K-12 education would receive a 6.7 percent increase in general state aid, about $300 million. Within the budget, Gov. Rauner proposes $19.5 million in grant funding to provide assistance to small businesses, business attraction and retention, job training, key innovation-driven activities and resources for startups and high-growth companies. This includes $2.3 million for the state’s emerging technology fund, essentially unchanged from the year prior. 


Connecticut, Illinois, New Hampshire, Texasstate budget