SSTI Digest

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Geography: Indiana

Policy positions of gubernatorial candidates in 11 states discussed

Eleven states are holding gubernatorial elections this year with nine incumbents seeking reelection, two of which are facing off against their lieutenant governor. Only one governor, Steve Bullock in Montana, is term-limited and unable to seek reelection. In Utah, Gov. Gary Herbert is stepping down from the position he has held for 10 years. While many of the races this year will reflect referendums on the current governor’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, many of the candidates have announced their innovation and economic development initiatives.

Consolidation of local governments could provide new economic development outlets

Improved prospects for economic development, as opposed to concerns about government efficiency, can play an important role in building support for local government consolidation efforts. The importance of economic opportunities in government consolidation was a key conclusion within Ball State University’s recently published policy brief, Indiana’s Government Modernization Act & Local Government Consolidation Experiences: Process and Politics.

States address workforce issues pushed to forefront by pandemic

Faced with the sudden, unprecedented fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic, Gov. Ned Lamont last month launched a new resource to provide workers and businesses in Connecticut with career tools, including partnering with Indeed and workforce training providers.

Workforce development key to state economic development initiatives

A report on employment trends from hiring firm Robert Half found that 2020 presents greater challenges for employers looking to expand their workforce as the country’s labor market is near full employment and job openings remain at high levels.

Tech Talkin’ Govs 2020: FL, GA, IN, IA, KS, KY, MO, RI, WA present diverse efforts to grow economies

Governors’ focus on initiatives particular to their state in this latest round of state of the state addresses. As SSTI continues to review the speeches for new innovation proposals, we found states continuing to focus on education with more attention on teacher salaries and efforts extending all the way down to pre-K with a recognition that the future workforce is influenced by many factors.

States launching new tech commercialization programs to strengthen economies

Knowing that research universities are integral to the innovation in this country, states continue their efforts to build the economy by supporting efforts to move the research from the labs to the market.

$42.4 million philanthropic grant to help fuel regional innovation in Northern Indiana

As a way to help encourage innovation and workforce development in Northern Indiana, a five-year, $42.4 million grant from the Lilly Endowment will support the Labs for Industry Futures and Transformation (LIFT) Network. An effort of the University of Notre Dame and the South Bend – Elkhart Regional Partnership, the LIFT Network will launch iNDustry Labs at Notre Dame’s Innovation Park, a burgeoning innovation district on the campus’ southern end. This is the sixth region in Indiana where the Lilly Endowment has made an economic development commitment.

Tech Talkin’ Govs, part 3: Economic development, broadband, education and climate change driving governors’ innovation agendas

This week, we see broadband investment in Indiana; education initiatives that begin with pre-K and extend beyond high school in a number of states; lifelong learning approaches; apprenticeships; climate change and green energy initiatives in Nevada and Washington; and more on governors’ agendas. As governors across the country continue to deliver their state of the state addresses to their legislatures and constituents, SSTI monitors the speeches for news of innovation related initiatives.

Rural broadband emerging as early theme for 2019

Action toward improving the availability and speed of broadband in rural areas is emerging as an early theme in 2019, continuing activity from 2018. Oregon, Washington and the USDA all announced new initiatives last month. In mid-December, the USDA announced the availability of $600 million in grants and loans to support improvement of broadband accessibility across rural America. Funding is split into three equal pools. Up to $200 million may be awarded as grants (deadline for proposals is April 29); $200 million may be awarded as low-interest loans (applications due June 28); and $200 million may be distributed in a mix of grants and loans (proposals are due May 29).  Projects funded through this initiative must serve communities with fewer than 20,000 people with no broadband service or where service is slower than 10 megabits per second (mbps) download and 1 mbps upload.

Program assisting defense manufacturers delivers strong ROI

Faced with one of the largest drawdowns in defense spending in American history, the Defense Manufacturing Assistance Program (DMAP) targeted affected companies and communities across Michigan, Ohio and Indiana for assistance. The program aimed to support economic stabilization and diversification across the region during the five-year period from 2013 to 2018.

New state efforts look to address skills gap in IN, NC, and SC

While job openings surpassed 7.1 million in August, companies across the country still are struggling to attract staff with relevant skills. To address this issue, states are developing new workforce development efforts to address the increased demand. These efforts have taken many different approaches including grants to communities, free online resources, mentorship programs, or stronger partnerships with industry. While these efforts may be diverse in their processes, they share commonalities, such as bringing together all stakeholders (e.g., industry, academia, government, nonprofits, and local workforce development boards) and providing those services locally across the state, or by leveraging online platforms.  Such efforts are reflected in new programs described below in Indiana, North Carolina and South Carolina.

 

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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