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Geography: Oregon

Tech Talkin’ Govs 2019, part 2: Broadband, education, climate change fixes on governors’ radars

Reviewing another slate of governors’ state of the state and inaugural addresses reveals some recurring themes. With a focus on maintaining gains made since the Great Recession and increasing budgets, many governors are holding off on major new initiatives, but are proposing means to increase broadband access, diversify their economies, build renewable energy efforts, and increase their rainy day funds in case of an economic downturn. SSTI presents part 2 of our Tech Talkin’ Govs series, with coverage of governors in Colorado, Connecticut, Oregon, Virginia, West Virginia and Wyoming.

Rural broadband emerging as early theme for 2019

Action toward improving the availability and speed of broadband in rural areas is emerging as an early theme in 2019, continuing activity from 2018. Oregon, Washington and the USDA all announced new initiatives last month. In mid-December, the USDA announced the availability of $600 million in grants and loans to support improvement of broadband accessibility across rural America. Funding is split into three equal pools. Up to $200 million may be awarded as grants (deadline for proposals is April 29); $200 million may be awarded as low-interest loans (applications due June 28); and $200 million may be distributed in a mix of grants and loans (proposals are due May 29).  Projects funded through this initiative must serve communities with fewer than 20,000 people with no broadband service or where service is slower than 10 megabits per second (mbps) download and 1 mbps upload.

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.

Tech Talkin’ Govs 2018, part 5: IL, OK, OR, PA, TN looking to enhance workforce, build economies

Governors are continuing their annual address to legislators and constituents and workforce development continues to take center stage, with the governor of Oregon rolling out a new five-step plan she hopes will invigorate the economy and close the skills gap while Oklahoma acknowledged difficult times and Tennessee says it may achieve an education goal two years ahead of schedule.

Manufacturing technology central to expanded Oregon innovation budget

State spending for the Oregon innovation economy during the 2017-2019 biennium in the Oregon Business Development Department received a sharp increase, thanks in part to nearly $14 million of funding for the new Oregon Manufacturing Innovation Center (OMIC).

Oregon lets R&D tax credit expire – will others follow?

At least three dozen states offer reductions in tax obligations to companies for some portion of the costs of the businesses conducting research and development within their particular state. During the 2017 session, one fewer could be included among the ranks. With little documented opposition, the Oregon legislature decided to get out of the R&D tax credit business altogether (p. 41, source).  Why? Are there lessons for other states’ advocates for innovation?

Tech Talkin Govs, Part VII: NC, NH and OR focus on education, workforce

Educational initiatives continue to dominate in state of the state, budget and inaugural addresses, with governors in North Carolina, New Hampshire and Oregon all acknowledging its importance in the workforce development sphere and the future competitiveness of the states.

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.

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.

Oregon Launches Pilot Program to Improve Economic Development Collaboration Between Regions

Oregon announced an agreement with the four regional economic development organizations to improve business development coordination, help existing Oregon businesses expand, recruit new companies, and align other economic developments efforts to grow Oregon's economy and job creation. To achieve the goals of the program, the partners will share office space, hold regular planning meetings, and develop ongoing communications through shared software tools.

OR Initiatives Bridge Capital Gaps for Innovators, Manufacturers

Over the past few weeks, the State of Oregon has announced a number of new capital opportunities for small businesses. Business Oregon, the state’s economic development agency, will invest $250,000 to support a new Inclusive Startup Fund that will invest in Portland-area startups founded by women and people of color. Fund leaders hope to raise a total of $3 million and match portfolio businesses with mentoring and business advising services.

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