SSTI Digest

The latest reporting and analysis on breakthroughs in technology-based economic development research and issues that matter most to you. To receive the SSTI Weekly Digest via email, sign up here.


Geography: Nevada

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.

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.

Legislative sessions ending; AL, FL, NV, TN budgets reviewed

As more state legislatures are coming to the close of their sessions, more state budgets are being finalized. This week SSTI takes a look at the final appropriations for Alabama, which is decreasing its innovation funding in higher ed; Florida, whose governor signed a budget after vetoing more than $20 million in STEM, higher ed, R&D and other innovation funding; Nevada, with positive news in technology-based economic development funding; and Tennessee, where the Department of Economic and Community Development’s state funding is down by more than 27 percent compared to FY 2017.

State grants, partnerships focus on workforce needs in several states

Noting a growing need for additional education to meet workforce needs, several states have announced programs focusing on education and workforce needs, channeling state funding to grants that will focus on aligning learning opportunities with business and industry needs, or creating new initiatives in the private sector. Reaching a higher educational attainment among a greater percentage of the workforce by 2025 is also a goal set by several of the states.

TBED funding to increase in some state budgets, cut in others; CA, HI, MN, NV, ND, RI

SSTI has reviewed another mix of state budgets as governors across the country continue to release their proposals. Some states, like California and North Dakota, are seeing cuts in the amount of money designated for TBED-related work, while others like Minnesota are in a more favorable fiscal situation and continue to fund such initiatives. Still others, like Rhode Island, are proposing new initiatives.

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

Universities Seek External Funds for Big Data R&D Centers

The big data technology and services market is expected to grow at a compound annual rate of 23.1 percent over the 2014-2019 forecast period, with annual spending projected to reach$48.6 billion in 2019, according to a 2015 study from IDC – a market research firm. Hoping to leverage this exponential growth into research and economic development opportunity, several universities are fund raising to establish new big data R&D Centers in the communities they serve.

17 Governors Sign Accord to Promote Clean Energy, Economic Prosperity

A bipartisan group of 17 governors signed the Governors’ Accord for a New Energy Future – a joint commitment to support the deployment of renewable, cleaner and more efficient energy technologies and other solutions to make the U.S. economy more productive and resilient as well as spur job creation in member states.

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.

Nevada Reestablishes Office of Science, Innovation, and Technology

As part of Nevada’s efforts to better prepare its workers to compete in the state’s technology industries, Gov. Brian Sandoval announced the reestablishment of the state’s Office of Science, Innovation and Technology, naming Brian Mitchell its program director.

STEM Education, Skilled Workforce Programs Popular Among State Budget Proposals

This week, governor’s in eight states released their budget proposals. Balanced budgets and fiscal austerity were undoubtedly emphasized by the governors, yet funding for STEM education and workforce development initiatives were increasingly popular.

Pages