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Elected Governors Stress Importance of TBED and Economic Development

November 05, 2008

Eleven gubernatorial elections were held across the U.S. on Tuesday, resulting in the selection of three new governors - with TBED initiatives spread throughout their campaigns' messages.

Only one of the races resulted in a change of party affiliation in the top state position, Missouri, where Democrat Jay Nixon defeated Republican Congressman Kenny Hulshof after current-Governor Matt Blunt declared he would not seek another term. Democrats now hold twenty-nine governorships, expanding on their significant gains in 2006. Governors retaining their seats include John Hoeven (R-ND), Christine Gregoire (D-WA), Brian Schweitzer (D-MT), Jon Huntsman (R-UT), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Mitch Daniels (R-IN), John Lynch (D-NH), and Jim Douglas (R-VT).

Several of the governors-elect made economic development and TBED a part of their platforms throughout their candidacy. Here is a sampling of policies and programs announced by some of the governors-elect on their official websites as collected by SSTI:

State Treasurer Jack Markell (D) notes in his economic development plan that he became Nextel's 13th employee in 1989, in addition to being a colleague of Senator-elect Mark Warner (D) of Virginia. To improve the tech-based capacity of Delaware, he promotes exploring the creation of a university venture fund and encouraging additional incentives to stimulate business investment in R&D. On the education front, Markell supports introducing early college programs and dual-credit programs to high schools, establishing a partnership with Delaware State University to place summer interns in high-tech companies, and wants to create a new need-based scholarship program for those seeking four-year degrees, going beyond Delaware's existing SEED scholarships for two-year degrees.

Find more details at: http://www.markell.org/issues.aspx

Governor-elect Jay Nixon (D) has been the State Attorney General for the past 16 years, and promoted several proposals for improving access to higher education during the campaign. For example, Nixon supports a $25 million initiative to expand the number of schools engaged in Missouri's A+ School Program, which provides free tuition to high school students with a 2.5 GPA to attend a two-year community college or technical school. Also proposed is the $36 million "Missouri Promise" initiative, which would allow students who participate in the A+ Schools Program to attend a Missouri state college or university tuition free for four years, if the student attains a 3.0 GPA in community college and completes 50 hours of community service each year.

Read more about Govenor-elect Nixon's plans at: http://www.jaynixon.com/issues/education

North Carolina
Last month, Governor-elect and current Lieutenant Governor Bev Perdue (D) released an economic plan in the wake of the nation's financial crisis to help keep the state's high-tech industries growing during the difficult times ahead. Her New Economy Plan calls for a renewed effort to attract defense/aerospace jobs, and to support the creation of green-collar jobs through initiatives like the state's new Green Business Fund. The plan also includes capital gains tax breaks for entrepreneurs, and further development of the One North Carolina Small Business Fund. Under Governor-elect Perdue's College Promise plan, North Carolina will expand access to EARN scholarships, making tuition free for high school students who proceed directly to a community college. Eighty percent of community college students will be eligible for a new $4,000 annual stipend to pay for books and other education-related expenses.

Read more about the New Economy Plan at: http://www.bevperdue.com/release_details.asp?id=1006

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