• Join your peers at SSTI's 2024 Annual Conference!

    Join us December 10-12 in Arizona to connect with and learn from your peers working around the country to strengthen their regional innovation economies. Visit ssticonference.org for more information and to register today.

  • Become an SSTI Member

    As the most comprehensive resource available for those involved in technology-based economic development, SSTI offers the services that are needed to help build tech-based economies.  Learn more about membership...

  • Subscribe to the SSTI Weekly Digest

    Each week, the SSTI Weekly Digest delivers the latest breaking news and expert analysis of critical issues affecting the tech-based economic development community. Subscribe today!

State budgets addressing TBED initiatives; review of ID, ME, WA

January 12, 2017

As governors around the country are releasing their proposed budgets, SSTI is examining the proposals for TBED initiatives and will be presenting the findings here. This week Idaho, Maine and Washington are reviewed. Check back in the coming weeks for updates.


In his FY18 budget proposal, Idaho Gov. Butch Otter recommends approximately $2.1 million for economic and workforce development efforts at institutions of higher education including:

  • $652,900 for a new PhD program in computing with computer science, cybersecurity, and computational science and engineering specializations; and
  • $381,500 for the venture college program expansion to deliver innovation and entrepreneurial skill sets to students.

In addition to these efforts, Gov. Otter proposes a transfer of $35 million to the Permanent Building Fund for higher-education facilities throughout Idaho including:

  • $10 million for a Center for Material Science at Boise State University;
  • $10 million for the University of Idaho to build the Center for Agriculture, Food and the Environment or “CAFÉ” in the Magic Valley;
  • $10 million for Lewis-Clark State College to construct a Career-Technical Education building; and,
  • $5 million toward remodeling the Gale Life Sciences Building at Idaho State University.

The proposal also calls for the state to finance and build two cyber-security focused research facilities in Idaho Falls. The Cybercore and the Collaborative Computing Center would be financed and owned by the state but paid for by the Idaho National Laboratory (INL) through lease payments.

The budget also contains a proposed one-time operating expenditure and capital outlay of $1.8 million for the creation of a polytechnic institute to “ensure that the Idaho National Laboratory maintains its status as the Department of Energy's lead laboratory for nuclear energy in the United States.”


Maine Gov. Paul LePage’s proposed $6.8 billion FY 2018-19 biennial budget remains consistent with previous funding levels of the state’s innovation programming. The budget includes an appropriation of $17.35 million in each year of the biennium for the Maine Economic Improvement Fund, within the University of Maine System, which provides university researchers with the capital needed to leverage federal and private sector research grants and contracts.  The budget also includes just over $7 million in each year of the biennium for the Office of Innovation within the state’s Department of Economic and Community Development. The Office of Innovation promotes research and development in the state and, in addition to funding technology transfer activities and inter-institutional research efforts, supports the Maine Technology Institute and its startup assistance programs.


Washington’s biennial budget expands the Department of Commerce’s sector-based economic development program by two staff members and planned grants to more communities (an additional $1.87 million in total funding). The state is also increasing several higher education initiatives, including: Opportunity Scholarships to students in professional/technical programs ($3 million for matching funds); three staff to increase labor research and develop an associate’s degree in workforce and labor studies ($778,000); a six-site, 750-student expansion of the Mathematics Engineering Science Advancement program ($1.5 million); and growing the Guided Pathways model of community college advising to an addition 66 FTE academic advisors ($8.5 million). Washington is also removing development funding from the now-operating Walla Walla Community College’s water and environmental center (-$750,000).

Idaho, Maine, Washingtonstate budgets