SSTI Digest

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Geography: Mississippi

Manufacturing wage growth supporting Appalachian economy

Earnings for Appalachian manufacturing workers grew 3.4 percent from 2012 through 2017 to an average of $63,583. The growth is in the Appalachian Regional Commission’s Industrial Make-up of the Appalachian Region, 2002-2017, which reviews employment and wages by sector across the region. Appalachian workers overall saw earnings increase by 3.7 percent over the five years.

Election results could yield new state policies; TX doubles cancer R&D

Democrats made some gains in Virginia’s Legislature, and in Kentucky, the governor’s seat looks to be turning over to a Democrat, but the current Republican is requesting a recanvass in the close race. If those results hold, Democratic challenger and current Attorney General Andy Beshear will take the seat from incumbent Gov. Matt Bevin, ending the state’s Republican trifecta (where one party holds the governorship and both chambers of the legislature). Mississippi’s gubernatorial seat remained in Republican control, while the gubernatorial election in Louisiana takes place on Nov. 16, and the incumbent Democratic governor there is seeking another term. Following Tuesday’s elections, the divided government in Virginia turned into a Democratic trifecta in Virginia, as Republicans lost their hold in both the House and Senate. Those outcomes and results from several state legislative elections, along with the results of several innovation-related initiatives, are highlighted below.

Several states in play this election cycle for innovation initiatives, gubernatorial and legislative elections

As voters head to the polls next week, some will be deciding the fate of innovation and development-related initiatives, while voters in Kentucky, Louisiana and Mississippi will be voting in gubernatorial elections. The initiatives include a possible additional $3 billion in Texas for cancer research. And in Louisiana, Mississippi, New Jersey and Virginia, legislative chambers are holding regular elections. Those races and initiatives are covered below.

ARC announces $26.5M in POWER grants

The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) announced its latest round of grants for Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization (POWER). The 35 grants totaling $26.5 million support workforce training and education in manufacturing, technology, healthcare, and other industry sectors; invest in infrastructure enhancements to continue developing the region's tourism, entrepreneurial, and agriculture sectors; and, increase access to community-based capital, including impact-investing funds, venture capital, and angel investment streams. The awards are projected to create or retain over 5,400 jobs and leverage more than $193 million in private investment into 59 Appalachian counties.

A few of the awards (with SSTI members in boldface) are highlighted here:

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.

Tech Talkin’ Govs 2018: AZ, FL, IA, ID, MS, NY, VT present state of the state addresses

SSTI’s Tech Talkin’ Govs feature returns as governors across the country roll out their state of the state addresses. We review each speech for comments relevant to the innovation economy, and bring you their words directly from their addresses. In this first installment, we present excerpts from governors in Arizona, Florida, Indiana, Iowa, Mississippi, New York and Vermont.

With the seat up for election in 36 states this fall, many governors are delivering what may be their last state of the state address (see last week’s story on the definite turnover in 17 states and another 19 eligible for reelection). Some governors are more specific in their addresses regarding the innovation economy, such as Idaho where its governor is seeking additional money for college and career advising, an additional $5 million for the Opportunity Scholarship program, and a new position to coordinate the work of all its higher education institutions. Iowa’s governor is calling on the legislature to pass the Future Ready Iowa Act and proposes a new scholarship for Iowans who decide to pursue up to a two-year degree in a high-demand field as well as more money for apprenticeships. Taxes are taking a large part of the discussion for many governors. For instance, the Florida governor is hoping for a constitutional amendment to make it more difficult for future legislators to raise taxes, while in New York, the governor says the state will challenge the federal tax code.

State budget proposals reflect economy: AK, CO, FL, MS, WY reviewed

States are beginning their next round of budget proposals, following last year’s cautious approach to budgeting. SSTI begins its review of the proposals this week, presenting findings on how states are funding elements of the innovation economy with a review of Alaska, Colorado, Florida and Wyoming state budgets. While Alaska and Wyoming continue to recover from budget shortfalls exacerbated by their dependence on the energy industry, Colorado and Florida both include initiatives to increase funding to higher education and Mississippi looks to join those state offering free tuition with a proposal for free community college through the creation of a Mississippi Works Scholars Program.

R&D and innovation funding sees some increases, more decreases in state budgets: CA, IL, MS, NC, OH

Breaking a two-year impasse, legislators in Illinois were able to pass a state budget that reinstitutes an R&D tax credit and implements workforce development programs. In California, the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (Go-Biz) will see a 28 percent increase in funding, while other innovation initiative are receiving level funding. In other states whose budgets SSTI analyzed this week for TBED-related funding, we found that Innovate Mississippi was able to maintain state funding and new funding was appropriated for workforce development at the state’s community and junior colleges; a variety of programs were cut in North Carolina; and, Ohio will not get funding for a state office focused on commercializing research across key industries that the governor had proposed. More findings from California, Illinois, Mississippi, North Carolina and Ohio are detailed below.

TBED Issues Considered in State Budgets

As new and supplemental state budgets are being proposed, SSTI is monitoring the proposals and will report on developments impacting prosperity through science, technology, innovation and entrepreneurship. The first budgets released – from Colorado, Mississippi, Oregon and Wyoming – represent a mixed bag with new initiatives proposed in three states and program elimination in the fourth.

Delta Regional Authority Releases Economic Development Strategy for 252 Counties Across Eight States

The Delta Regional Authority  (DRA) released the Regional Development Plan III (RDPIII) – an economic development strategy to help guide DRA’s 252-county region’s economic growth over the next five years. In RDPIII, DRA identifies three goals and related action items to guide its economic development efforts in the Delta region:

IN, MS Announce Workforce Initiatives to Support State Competitiveness, Job Creation

To drive state competitiveness and job creation, Indiana and Mississippi announced new efforts to engage regional institutions of higher education and other organizations to provide workers with the skills that match the needs of existing industry as well as attract new business and industry to their state. Through the Indiana Department of Workforce Development (DWD), the state will commit $22 million to fund industry-led regional partnerships aimed at aligning education and workforce needs. Mississippi Gov.

States Seek Slice of Growing Unmanned Aircraft Industry

As the Federal Aviation Administration continues to propose regulations around the fledging unmanned aircraft system (UAS) industry in order to ensure that it integrates into the current system as well as possible, states are beginning to act in order to improve their own competitiveness.

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