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Missouri, Ohio and Texas Governors Seek Increased Support for TBED Efforts

February 04, 2009

Not all of the news coming out of governors' offices is bad for TBED strategies. For example, just in the past week, governors in Missouri, Ohio and Texas proposed increases in state investments for job creation in emerging fields, higher education scholarships, and technology commercialization and research programs. The following overview provides highlights of their recommendations for TBED proposals in the upcoming fiscal year or biennium.

During his first State of the State Address last week, Gov. Jay Nixon outlined his priorities for the upcoming fiscal year, which include a 38 percent increase in funding for job creation and workforce development programs, an expanded college scholarship program, and level funding for a statewide science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) initiative through the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

Announced in January, the Show Me JOBS initiative focuses on growing small businesses throughout the state and expands upon the current Quality Jobs Program and the Missouri BUILD program. Last month, the governor signed three executive orders in support of the initiative. Executive Order 09-03 directs the Missouri Department of Economic Development to work with the Missouri Development Finance Board to create a pool of funds designated for low-interest and no-interest direct loans for small businesses. The governor anticipates a pool of $2 million will be available for the loans from the four percent fee collected on all Missouri Development Finance Board tax credits.

Additional components of the plan include tax credits for employers to offset pre-employment training costs such as tuition at a Missouri community college or vocational school and establishing an Automotive Manufacturing Task Force to ensure autoworkers and other industry employees are equipped to produce high-tech, fuel-efficient vehicles. 

The FY10 executive budget includes $81.2 million in general funds for the Department of Economic Development, up $8.7 million from last fiscal year. Funding for the Life Sciences Research Trust Fund is reduced $7.6 million from FY09 levels. Created in 2003, the fund supports life science research, commercialization, and technology transfer using a portion of the state's tobacco settlement funds.

Gov. Nixon recommends $4.3 million (a slight decrease from FY09) for the Missouri Technology Investment Fund, which supports the Missouri Manufacturing Extension Partnership, Innovation Centers, and the Missouri Technology Corporation. Small Business Development Centers would receive $250,000 in FY10 - half of the FY09 appropriation.

Within the Department of Higher Education, Gov. Nixon is proposing an expansion of the state's current A+ Program, which provides scholarships for two years to community colleges in exchange for community service. The proposed Missouri Promise extends the program two more years to provide tuition at any Missouri college or university. The price tag for the program in FY10 is $26.2 million for year one of a two-year implementation and $25.3 million for the former A+ Program transferred from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education for the Missouri Promise Program.

To continue the eMINTS grant program, a statewide instructional model for teachers in support of the Missouri Mathematics, Engineering, Technology and Science Initiative, Gov. Nixon recommends $1 million in FY10 - the same amount appropriated last year.

View Gov. Jay Nixon's FY10 executive budget at: http://oa.mo.gov/bp/budg2010/.

A press release outlining the Show Me JOBS initiative is available at: http://governor.mo.gov/newsroom/2009/Nixon_provides_details_on_Show_Me_JOBS.

Funding for a suite of new economic development programs under Ohio Department of Development (ODOD)'s strategic plan, a package of expanded tax incentives aimed at job retention and creation, and funding to continue the tuition freeze at Ohio's colleges and universities are included in the 2010-11 biennial budget recommendation and are key components to Gov. Ted Strickland's plan for boosting Ohio's economy.

The executive budget recommends $1.2 billion in FY10 and $1.1 billion in FY11 in total funds for ODOD. This includes funding to support the following new programs outlined last September as part of the agency's strategic plan:

  • Ohio Hubs of Innovation and Opportunity, an initiative to identify at least 12 targeted geographic intersections in each region and build a physical and virtual hub of knowledge to accelerate talent attraction and investment opportunities. The hubs will offer resources including entrepreneurial and productivity assistance, access to capital, and technology development;
  • Ohio Means Home, a new campaign designed to recruit former Ohio residents and graduates back to the state to advance their careers or start new businesses; and
  • Ohio Green Places, a program to promote the development of programs and policies that advance the goal of making Ohio a leader in sustainable green development. This includes building an advanced energy business sector with a robust supply chain and a green building industry.

Gov. Strickland is proposing several changes to existing tax credits aimed at job creation and retention and investment in technology-based companies. To enable investors to continue receiving a tax credit by investing in Ohio-based technology companies, the governor proposed increasing the cap for the Technology Tax Credit to $45 million, up from $30 million. Budget documents note the current cap is likely to be reached by March 2009 and the estimated cost of $15 million would delay reaching that cap by three to five years.

The executive budget includes $150 million in tobacco settlement funds over the biennium to support the Biomedical Job Stimulus Fund and the Bioproducts Job Stimulus Fund, which provide competitive grants to projects that have high job-creation potential through industry attraction or expansion opportunities.

Within the Board of Regents, Gov. Strickland proposed maintaining full tuition freeze in the next biennium for community colleges. However, the freeze will remain in effect only through FY10 for four-year public institutions. For the 2010-11 academic year, University System of Ohio will limit tuition growth to 3.5 percent, budget documents note. Legislators approved more than $250 million for the two-year tuition freeze in 2007.

A new scholarship program created during the 2007 legislative session to increase the number of graduates in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine (STEMM) fields, the Choose Ohio First Scholarship, is slated to receive $29 million in the next biennium. The program requires a 1:1 match from higher education institutions (see the July 11, 2007 issue of the Digest). To support ongoing STEM initiatives in middle- and high-schools, Gov. Strickland recommends $2 million in FY10 and $4.5 million in FY11.

Gov. Ted Strickland's 2010-11 biennial budget is available at: http://obm.ohio.gov/sectionpages/Budget/FY1011/ExecutiveBudget.aspx.

Gov. Rick Perry's 2010-11 biennial budget significantly increases the state's investment in two funds aimed at technology commercialization and attracting new businesses to the state. The Emerging Technology Fund (ETF) is slated to receive $203.5 million over the next two years, up from $117.3 million approved last biennium. The ETF provides funds to recruit top researchers, loans and grants to commercialization projects with ties to state universities, and establishes research centers in key technology areas. The program was created with a $200 million appropriation in 2005.

Gov. Perry is asking lawmakers to approve $260 million in FY10-11, up from $225.3 million approved last biennium, for The Texas Enterprise Fund. This fund was created in 2003 and attracts larger employers to the state and assists existing businesses with substantial expansion.

In support of the state's 10-year, $3 billion Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas, approved by voters in 2007, Gov. Perry recommends $53 million for debt service on the cancer research bonds with additional funds for operating costs over the next biennium.

Gov. Perry wants to expand higher education incentive funding by $168.9 million to give two- and four-year institutions additional rewards for increasing the number of degrees granted and awarding degrees in critical areas such as science and engineering, according to budget documents.

Gov. Rick Perry's 2010-11 biennial budget is available at: http://governor.state.tx.us/files/press-office/Governors_Budget_2010-11.pdf.

Missouri, Ohio, Texasstate tbed