SSTI Digest

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Geography: New Mexico

States take the lead on climate change

When Gov. Janet Mills addressed the United Nations General Assembly on Sept. 23, it was the first time a sitting governor of Maine has been asked to address the body. She had been invited as part of her participation in the UN Climate Action Summit 2019, and has made tackling climate change and embracing renewable energy key priorities of her administration. She is not the only governor stepping into the role where the federal government has backed out.

Free tuition offerings continue to evolve in states across the US

New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham became the latest governor to propose a plan for free tuition, with what has been called the “one of the most ambitious attempts to make higher education more accessible.” If approved, the plan would allow in-state students to attend any of the 29 state public colleges or universities, regardless of income. It is designed as a “last-dollar” program.

New grant program to help tech transfer launched

The New Mexico Economic Development Department is launching a new grant program to facilitate the transfer and commercialization of technologies developed in New Mexico national labs and universities to business startups. The New Mexico Technology Transfer Assistance Grants (NM-TAG) are designed to help offset the risk associated with licensing new technologies and assist the transfer and deployment of new innovative technologies.

Tech Talkin’ Govs part 4: Opportunity Zones, workforce development, tech hubs, and more in governors plans to build economies

Governors are reaching into their toolkits to build tech-based economies, utilizing Opportunity Zones, tax credits, broadband infrastructure and workforce development initiatives among other things. This week, as we continue to review their state of the state addresses for TBED news, we see some governors still trying to reshape their states’ struggling economies while others are building on past successes and proposing new initiatives.

Key ballot initiatives to impact state futures

SSTI has reviewed the ballot initiatives across the country that affect innovation. Several states have energy initiatives on their ballots, while higher education funding is at play in Maine, Montana, New Jersey and Rhode Island. Utah could become only the second state to fund its schools through gas taxes, if a measure there is passed. At the same time, four states have ballot issues addressing redistricting commissions which could have a significant impact on state legislative makeup when lines are redrawn after the 2020 census.

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.

Policymakers leverage public libraries to promote innovation

For hundreds of years, libraries have helped drive American innovation by serving as a trusted resource and providing information to a wide range of individuals. As libraries continue to implement their own initiatives in this space, policymakers across the country have recently turned to them as a way to level the playing field around workforce development and entrepreneurial support.

Tech Talkin’ Govs 2018, part 3: DE, NM, RI, VA, WV governors focus on education, jobs for innovation initiatives

SSTI’s Tech Talkin’ Govs feature continues 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 third installment, we present excerpts from governors in Delaware, New Mexico, Rhode Island, Virginia and West Virginia.

Many of the governors across the country are delivering the final addresses and taking the time to look back over their term on accomplishments while others are looking forward to new initiatives. The Delaware governor’s comments in the innovation space centered on jobs and strengthening training opportunities while in New Mexico the governor is term limited and she took the opportunity to focus on jobs and manufacturing partnership with Mexico. The Rhode Island governor, who has indicated she will run for reelection this year, focused on education, job training and small business. Growth in the state’s clean energy industry was an accomplishment touted by the outgoing governor in Virginia. And in West Virginia, the governor is interested in free technical and community colleges.

CO, MN, NM, OK state budgets take hit in innovation funding

As governors and state legislatures continue their negotiations over state budgets, SSTI has reviewed the latest to be signed. The process has proved difficult in more than a few states, with New Mexico having to overcome several stalemates and still facing shortages while in Oklahoma three-fourths of the state agencies are seeing decreased funding due to the state’s $900 million shortfall.

Several energy cluster states in recession

The perils of regional economies being too dependent on single industry clusters, particularly as it affects the financing of state governments, are playing out in the Great Plains. Kansas, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma and Wyoming have been or still are experiencing recessions, beginning as early as spring 2015 for two, according to a new analysis by Jason P. Brown for the Tenth Federal Reserve District.

Tech Talkin’ Govs, Part III: AK, IN, MI, NM, NV, RI talk feature education, workforce initiatives

SSTI’s latest Tech Talkin’ Govs installment excerpts TBED highlights from governors’ speeches in Alaska, Indiana, Michigan, New Mexico, Nevada and Rhode Island. Education and workforce are focal points in this latest round of the state of the state addresses, as they have been in the two previous posts. Varying issues are factored into the speeches, from the $3 billion fiscal gap in Alaska to the proposed free college tuition in Rhode Island.

Alaska

Economic and Education Ballot Measures Get Mixed Results

Bond issues supporting higher education goals got mixed results in Tuesday’s election. A bond issue in Rhode Island to be used for the renovation and construction of the University of Rhode Island’s College of Engineering buildings was a winner in this year’s election, receiving 59.3 percent approval. The bond issue that would have created the Montana Biomedical Research Authority was not as lucky, with 56.9 percent of voters there rejecting the measure.

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