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NY Gov Proposes Continued Support for Upstate Economies; ID, IA Govs Pitch Workforce Efforts

January 15, 2016

With the start of the new year, many governors around the country have begun laying out priorities for the next legislative session. In the coming weeks, SSTI will review gubernatorial addresses and budget proposals related to economic development. This week, we highlight developments in Idaho, Iowa and New York.

Idaho

In his State of the State and Budget Address earlier this week, Gov. Butch Otter emphasized the need for investment in STEM education and building a stronger bridge between the K-12 system and well-paying jobs. To achieve this, the governor hopes to implement the recommendations of a recent educational task force, and to fund a number of STEM-centered initiatives. These include $4 million for the state’s STEM Action Center to fund grants and projects and to match industry contributions.

Gov. Butch Otter’s proposed fiscal year 2017 budget includes $25.3 million for post-secondary education to expand research initiatives, workforce development and educational opportunities. Another $10 million would bolster the state’s STEM Education Fund while $99,000 would be provided to prepare students for university computer science program.

Proposed funding for TechHelp, a National Institute of Standards and Technology Hollings Manufacturing Extension Center, is $166,400.

Iowa

This week Gov. Terry Branstad delivered his 2016 Condition of the State Address to the Iowa General Assembly and released his proposal for FY 2017 spending. The governor acknowledged that revenue conditions had made this a tight budget, but that continued investment in the Future Ready Iowa plan, along with support for renewable energy and bio-chemical manufacturing, were necessary to ensure the long-term economic health of the state.

The Future Ready Plan is Iowa’s strategy to ensure that 70 percent of the state’s workforce has education and training beyond a high school level by 2025. To support renewable energy, the state will hold a series of forums in 2016, with a plan to be delivered in November.  Gov. Branstad supports the Iowa Economic Development Authority’s proposal for a renewable chemical production tax credit, which would provide a 5 cent credit for every pound of bio-based chemical produced by a company.

His proposed general fund appropriations include $18 million for the state’s Economic Development Authority, $17.7 million for Iowa Workforce Development and $603.1 million for the Board of Regents.

New York

This week, Gov. Andrew Cuomo introduced a $145 billion FY17 budget proposal in conjunction with his annual State of the State speech. The proposed spending plan includes new tax credits that would save small businesses an estimated $298 million. Gov. Cuomo suggested that the credits would benefit 1.1 million small businesses around the state. New credits include a reduction in the net income tax rate from 6.5 percent to 4 percent for small businesses that file under the corporate tax code, and a 15 percent income exemption for small businesses that pay taxes through personal income taxes (currently set at 5 percent and limited to sole proprietorships and farm businesses).

Gov. Cuomo proposed funding another round of investments in his Regional Council and Upstate Revitalization Initiatives. His budget includes $950 million for a sixth round of the program, with $750 million to be split competitively between the regions and $200 million to fund top projects for the runners-up from last year’s program. Another $20 million would be available to Upstate New York cities for economic revival through a grant pool, matching contributions from private and foundation sources.

The governor also proposed a $5 billion Clean Energy Fund to encourage the development of power from renewable sources over the next 10 years. The state has set a goal of drawing 50 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2030. He also described a goal of phasing out coal-based power entirely by 2020.

The proposed budget would provide $23.5 million for the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) and $5 million for the High Technology and Development Program.

Gov. Cuomo also recently released details of his plan to ensure that all residents have access to high-speed Internet services by 2018 through conditions placed on the merger of Time Warner Cable and Charter Communications. Read more at: https://www.governor.ny.gov/news/10th-proposal-governor-cuomo-s-2016-agenda-dramatically-expand-and-improve-access-high-speed.

West Virginia

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin delivered his State of the State Address and fiscal year 2017 budget proposal this week. Acknowledging the difficulties the state economy has had in recent years, Gov. Tomblin introduced the Self-Employment Assistance Act, a program that would help bring the unemployed back into the economy as entrepreneurs. The program would offer business assistance to those drawing unemployment benefits.

His budget proposal includes $55.3 million in general funds for the state Department of Commerce, including $13 million for the Development Office, $98,320 for the Office of Economic Opportunity and $62,786 for Workforce WV. The Robert C. Byrd Institute for Advanced/Flexibel Manufacturing – Technology Outreach and Programs for Environmental and Advanced Technologies is allotted $420,964, while the WV Manufacturing Extension Partnership would receive $116,619 under the proposal.

 

Idaho, Iowa, New York, West Virginiastate budget