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Tech-Talkin’ Governors II: The State of the State and Budget Addresses

January 12, 2001

Editor's Note: We continue our look at the priority Governors are placing on tech-based economic development and math & science education with highlights from recent speeches and budget proposals. Based on this week's announcements, it appears 2001 appears will be a third strong growth year for state and local tech-based economic development activities.


Governor Mike Huckabee, State of the State Address, January 9, 2001, and accompanying legislative agenda

-- new initiatives


  • a new Arkansas Biosciences Institute to foster biotechnology development and research 
  • the establishment of a chief information officer for the state and an advisory council
  • a new Arkansas Technology Infrastructure Fund so high-speed connectivity is accessible to every Arkansan
  • a new Arkansas Venture Capital Fund, combining many existing state economic development programs into a single incentive program
  • passage of a Uniform Electronic Transactions Act, providing legal recognition by the state of commercial activities transacted on the Internet.
  • New Horizons Scholarship program providing scholarships-internships to graduates of the state's 86 high-school level Environmental and Spatial Technology Labs


Governor Jane Dee Hull, State of the State Address, January 8, 2001

-- new initiatives


  • a targeted tax credit for high tech companies
  • release of New Economy That Works for Everyone strategic plan next week
  • restructuring the Department of Commerce to reflect the New Economy strategy
  • urge passage of a bill to increase venture capital availability in the state


Governor Gray Davis, State of the State Address, January 8, 2001

-- expansion of a previous initiative and announcement of new education program


  • all 200,000 math and reading teachers in the state will receive 40 hours of University of California-accredited, out-of-classroom training and 80 hours of follow up support 
  • a $30 million Algebra Initiative, a financial incentive for high schools to attract and retain high quality algebra teachers


Governor Thomas J. VIlsack, Condition of the State Address, January 9, 2001

-- new initiatives


  • Develop an Advanced Telecommunications Alliance to design an advanced telecommunications service plan for the state with the goal of electronically linking all Iowans by 2005.
  • Create a Digital Communities Account to provide funding for planning and technical assistance toward connectivity
  • Take an industry cluster promotion approach to the state's economic development activities (life sciences, advanced manufacturing and information solutions)
  • Increase investment in university research and development
  • Create a tax credit to encourage venture capital and entrepreneurship investment in the state


Governor Bill Graves, State of the State Address, January 8, 2001

-- new initiatives


  • $3 million for construction of an agriculture value-added center at Kansas State University for producer-industry-university research partnerships.
  • $500,000 to assist schools in technology infrastructure planning to meet the goal of statewide interconnectivity by 2002

New Jersey

Governor Christine Todd Whitman, State of the State Address, January 9, 2001

-- expansion of last year's initiatives


  • $5 million increase for the High-Tech Workforce Excellence Grants, a competitive tech training grant 
  • program for universities and colleges (FY 2002 total would be $20 million)
  • hints that her January 23 budget message will include an additional $180 million in a high tech economic development package (total most likely includes non-state match requirements)

North Dakota

Governor John Hoeven, Inaugural Address, January 9, 2001 and budget statement, January 9, 2001

-- new initiatives and increased spending for existing programs


  • a new 20 percent state income tax credit for North Dakotans who invest in new or expanding primary-sector businesses (estimated cost to the state: $2.5 million) 
  • funds to complete the statewide high-speed data network, providing high-speed Internet access 
  • capabilities to 194 communities, and permitting expansion of distance education and technology workforce development programs
  • $4 million for the Challenge Grant program for universities to match federal and private research funding (increase of $528,900)
  • $830,000 for new innovative scholarship program and incentives for students and faculty to pursue math, science and technology-based degrees
  • unspecified increase of "several million dollars" for agriculturally related biotech research 
  • consolidating state economic development financing, workforce development, community services, and tourism activities into a single department of commerce


Governor John A. Kitzhaber, 2001-2003 Budget in Brief, January 8, 2001

-- new initiatives


  • $20 million to improve engineering education by creating a tier one engineering school and increasing the number of engineering students in the state
  • $10 million per year from the tobacco settlement funds to support biotechnology research at the Oregon Health Sciences University


Governor James S. Gilmore III, Presentation of the 2002 Biennial Budget Amendments, December 20, 2000


  • $2.6 million to expand the Algebra Readiness Initiative to ensure every student meets Algebra I standards (funds will be targeted toward hiring 100 new teachers for intensive remedial math instruction)
  • a merit-based New Century Scholarship program providing $3,000 college scholarships to the top 20 graduates of each high school, and $500 for each advanced passing score on a Standards of Learning test
  • $1 million to fund 33 Internet-ready computer centers across the state for under-served youth


Governor Gary Locke, Budget Message, December 19, 2000

-- new initiatives and increased funding for existing programs


  • $16.8 million to target college and university enrollment in high demand science and technology fields (goal 1,500 new students over biennium)
  • $5 million in state funds to match private investments into new community college and university programs in high-tech and other high demand fields
  • $2 million for the Advanced Technology Initiative at the University of Washington and Washington State University to invest in specific research areas
  • $7.5 million to create a new technology institute at the University of Washington-Tacoma campus
  • $9.6 million to broaden on-the-job customized training programs in emerging industries and technology
  • Dividing the state's Department of Trade and Economic Development into two agencies -- one focused on community development, the other on economic vitality and trade issues.


Governor Jim Geringer, State of the State Address, January 10, 2001

-- new initiatives


  • establish a $65 million endowment fund for the University of Wyoming (UW) and the community college system. The schools must use non-state funds to match what they draw on the interest income
  • $10 million for the Horizon Merit Scholarships for students attending UW and the Horizon Careers Scholarships for students attending community college 
  • creation of a technology incubator in Laramie allowing UW to offer capacity and expertise to partner with new start-up companies to commercialize basic research 
  • pass a Uniform Electronics Transaction Act providing legal recognition by the state of commercial activities transacted on the Internet