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Tech Talkin’ Govs 2022: Innovation agendas from the governors’ State of the State addresses

March 24, 2022
By: Ellen Marrison

The last of the governors have delivered their State of the State addresses. With 36 gubernatorial elections this fall, many governors appeared to be more conservative in their addresses this year, speaking more about past accomplishments rather than rolling out new programs. This week features comments from California, Louisiana, Nevada and Ohio’s governors as their addresses related to the innovation economy.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom (March 8)

Gov. Gavin Newsom talked about transformation in the state’s public education system, including free community college.

“Infrastructure, research and development, investing in our conveyor belt for talent, the finest system of higher education anywhere in the world: our CSUs, UCs and community colleges. And ensuring society provides a hand up when people need help, maintaining, maintaining our pro-immigrant policies and welcoming refugees from around the world.”

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (March 14)

Noting that the state has “hundreds of millions in surplus, even more in current year excess, and billions in federal funding through the American Rescue Plan and the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act,” the governor said Louisiana has “a historic opportunity to transform our state through pivotal investments in every level of education, infrastructure projects that for decades have been pipe dreams, long overdue pay raises for some of our most dedicated workers, and combating the effects of climate change.” To address those issues, the governor said his budget proposal includes:

  • $10.5 million for the MJ Foster Promise Program Fund, which would provide financial support for students to earn credentials that align to high-demand jobs in growing industry sectors; and,
  • $97.2 million for higher education, which includes $5 million for Title IX offices across the state, $15 million increase in GO Grants (the purpose of this program is to provide a need-based component to the state’s financial aid plan to support nontraditional and low to moderate-income students who need additional aid to afford the cost of attending college) and $25 million into the Higher Education Initiatives fund.

On climate change, the governor said he established the Climate Initiatives Task Force and set a goal of reaching net zero by 2050. This taskforce, which includes scientists, academics, industry leaders and environmentalists, has adopted a Statewide Climate Action Plan. The governor went on to say that “combating climate change is just as much about economic development as it is about anything else. Some of our biggest economic development projects recently have been with companies focused on clean energy. … It all adds up to more than a thousand permanent jobs and thousands of construction jobs.”

The governor also made a plea to raise the minimum wage (which at $7.25/hour has remained the same for 13 years) and reduce the gender pay gap, which he said he would do by supporting legislation to enact pay transparency.

Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak (Feb. 23)

In dealing with climate change, Gov. Steve Sisolak said he will “convene members of my Cabinet, scientists, and climate leaders to create a statewide strategy for dealing with extreme heat. We will continue leading the fight against climate change and creating good jobs in the process. Because a resilient, clean energy economy is a part of a strong, diversified economy.”

“I’m also creating the first ever Nevada Small Business Accelerator Program -- to help new startups get off the ground and expand, putting Nevada at the forefront of emerging technologies.”

“Using dollars from the federal bipartisan infrastructure bill … we will invest $4 billion dollars to upgrade roads, bridges, and water systems. Over five hundred million for new broadband infrastructure, to make sure every Nevadan has access to high-speed internet.”

“… I’m directing my Workforce Development Committee to explore ways to make community college or other apprentice and training programs free for more Nevadans by 2025.”

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (March 23)

In his first State of the State since 2019, Gov. Mike DeWine addressed the legislature saying his administration will “be working with you to provide additional help to our career centers, community colleges, and four-year universities to provide them advanced, high-tech equipment for even better training for the jobs of the future. With help from you and JobsOhio, we are positioning our state to become a global leader in science, technology, and medicine through the launch of three, cutting-edge ’Innovation Districts‘ in Cincinnati, Cleveland, and Columbus. They are poised to produce 60,000 jobs over the next ten years and generate billions of dollars in pioneering, life-saving research and development.”

DeWine also talked about his intention to create an investment program to revitalize and rebuild the economies of the Appalachian areas of the state and will invest in downtown re-development, further expansion of broadband coverage and workforce development.

Part 7 coverage updated covering Arkansas and North Dakota:

In the most recent State of the State addresses, governors in Arkansas and North Dakota looked to future technology as innovation opportunities for their states. While Arkansas’ governor focused on advanced mobility, North Dakota’s was joined by a robot fabricated by the robotics club at North Dakota State University as he highlighted opportunities for the state in the autonomous technology, saying “automation is the key to our long-term success.”

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson (Feb. 14)

Gov. Asa Hutchinson challenged the state to “lead in this world of innovation by focusing on the future of advanced mobility. This focus includes autonomous vehicles, upward mobility platforms, electric vehicles, and modes of transportation that do not exist today but could be the dream of an Arkansas student right now.”

“Today, I am announcing the creation of the Arkansas Council on Future Mobility. The Advisory Council will be charged with identifying state laws and regulations that create a barrier to the development and enhancement of electrification, autonomous vehicles, drone delivery, and advanced air mobility in Arkansas. It will examine workforce training, accessing federal funding, and will make recommendations before the next general session of the legislature.”

North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum (Feb. 16)

Noting that entities across state government had experienced 4.5 billion cyberattacks throughout 2021, Gov. Doug Burgum said more would be done to educate the state’s students on computer and cyber science. “[W]e can be the first state in the nation to adopt computer and cyber science graduation standards for everybody in K-12 through college, through graduate school.” He also looked ahead to the 2023 legislative session and called for additional investments to advance cybersecurity defenses.

“I'm recommending that in 2023, the legislature, we double down on this [automation] tax credit,” Burgum said in referencing the credit as a workforce tool, adding that it would help train people to run automation jobs in manufacturing, biosciences, warehouses and other places.

He said work continues on the Accelerate ND plan to “advance the connection between workforce and education through career academies across our state. Already, the State Board of Career and Technical Education has awarded a combined total of $20 million into three initial grants to career centers in Dickinson, Minot, and Watford City. And just this week, the review committee recommended allocating the remaining $68 million for career academies in other cities across the state.  Nearly $40 million will be used, $40 million additionally, to create the first polytechnic, or hands-on training center, in North Dakota at Bismarck State College to build programs and curriculum to meet the needs of both students and their future employers. Millions more will be directed to regional workforce ideas and solutions through grant programs approved by the Legislature.”

On education, Burgum said, “We must increase certificate and student-centric programs. We must be better at aligning our degree offerings with the needs of North Dakota businesses. And to assist in this effort I am pleased to announce that this week North Dakota’s five community college presidents have signed a memorandum of understanding with Western Governors University to provide streamlined and seamless transfer to WGU's online college courses.”

Part 6 coverage updated Feb. 17 covering Maine, Wisconsin and Wyoming:

Workforce and education continue to be priorities among the governors, with those in Maine, Wisconsin and Wyoming being among the latest to propose initiatives or programs to boost their state’s economy by focusing on their people.

Maine Gov. Janet Mills (Feb. 10)

Focusing on what she called the largest impediment to sustained growth, Gov. Janet Mills called Maine’s workforce shortage a serious problem that she is tackling through “a comprehensive approach to child care, broadband, housing, and health care through the Maine Jobs and Recovery Plan, ….” Highlighting the lack of affordable broadband, especially in rural areas, as a barrier to working, Mills pledged that “every person in Maine who wants to connect to high-speed internet will be able to do so by 2024 ….”

In an effort to increase workforce participation rate by exposing young people to meaningful work while they are still in school, Mills said the Maine Career Exploration program will be expanded this summer, “connecting Maine high school students with paid work that puts them on a path to future careers.”

She also proposed funding in her supplemental budget “to stave off tuition hikes across the University of Maine System,” as well as proposing making two years of community college free:

“To the high school classes of 2020 through 2023 – if you enroll full-time in a Maine community college this fall or next, the State of Maine will cover every last dollar of your tuition so you can obtain a one-year certificate or two-year associate degree and graduate unburdened by debt and ready to enter the workforce. And if you are someone who’s already started a two-year program, we’ve got your back too. We will cover the last dollar of your second year.”

For recent graduates in Maine that are carrying student debt, Mills said legislation has been drafted that will streamline the Maine Opportunity Tax Credit that “transforms the program from an obscure bureaucratic tax benefit available to just a few, into a strong student debt relief tool available to all.” The program’s eligibility criteria will be broadened and simplified “so that those who graduated with student debt – regardless of what type of degree they have or where they graduated or what type of work they do now – they will be eligible for up to $25,000 of debt relief over the course of their lifetime, so long as they have a job and they make Maine their home.”

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers (Feb. 15)

Gov. Tony Evers said the state’s unemployment rate is lower than it was pre-pandemic, but that employers are struggling to find new workers to fill jobs. Evers said he is planning to use some of the state’s surplus funds to reduce barriers to work and to invest in education at every level.

“I’m also announcing I am providing a $25 million investment in our University of Wisconsin System so that they can use these dollars to fund the tuition freeze through the end of the biennium. With these additional funds, the UW System and Board of Regents can ensure that tuition prices for our in-state students will not go up for the next two years, ….”

Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon (Feb. 14)

Touting the state’s wind, solar, gas, coal, and nuclear energy capabilities, Gov. Mark Gordon called for “innovation, not regulation” as the way forward to meet the nation’s energy needs. “In this budget, I have asked for the ability to access $100 million so we can be ready to … seize the opportunities that match federal and private investments in large-scale energy projects that will help us innovate and grow our mineral and energy economies.”

In addressing workforce issues, Gordon said the Wyoming Innovation Partnership (WIP) will be expanded. “We are investing in new ways of looking at career, technical and higher education. It's essential that we always stay ahead of the curve. … WIP was born of communication across community colleges, and the University; but it quickly has evolved to include the Business Council and Workforce Services, and shortly, it will expand to include community economic development organizations, and industry. All of these entities will be important in identifying opportunities and local needs, building curriculum, and importantly measuring performance.”

Part 5 coverage updated Feb. 10 covering Connecticut, Illinois, Oklahoma, Oregon and Pennsylvania:

With 36 gubernatorial elections this fall, many governors are more reflective of their past years in office in their State of the State addresses as opposed to rolling out new programs. Workforce development and jobs are the dominant themes affecting the innovation economy from the governors in Connecticut, Illinois, Oklahoma, Oregon and Pennsylvania in this fifth installment of the Tech Talkin’ Govs series.

Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont (Feb. 9)

“Our budget invests ten times more money than ever before in workforce development – with a hyper focus on trade schools, apprentice programs, and tuition-free certificate programs where students of all ages can earn an industry-recognized credential in half the time, with a full-time job all but guaranteed. This investment will train over 10,000 students and job seekers this year in courses designed by businesses around the skills that they need.”

“I want students and trainees to take a job in Connecticut, and I want Connecticut employers to hire from Connecticut first! To encourage that, we’re expanding a tax credit for small businesses that help repay their employees’ student loans.”

“The [federal] infrastructure funding will also extend broadband to those rural and urban areas cut off by the digital divide.”

“Our budget is providing tens of millions of dollars to help the next generation of entrepreneurs start their own business, with a special emphasis on distressed communities.”

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker (Feb. 2)

“College Illinois was a program started in the 1990's to help parents pay for college for their children.  The idea seemed simple — Illinois residents could purchase college tuition at current rates and that money would be invested and grow to cover the eventual costs of their children's college education. Over 70,000 Illinois families took advantage of this opportunity. But 25 years later, the program was underfunded by nearly 30%, leaving parents holding the bag for a promise unfulfilled by state government. That's not right.  So my budget proposes to pay off that unfunded state liability in full. Parents will sleep better at night, and it saves an additional $75 million dollars in future taxpayer liabilities.”

“… [A]t the beginning of my term I pledged to do three things to address this problem: Increase MAP scholarships by $200 million, get more Pell Grants and low cost federal loans for Illinois students, and increase direct support for institutions of higher learning. With this FY ‘23 budget proposal, we will have achieved all three during my first term in office, with substantial increases in MAP grants, community college and university operational support, and job training investments.  The cost of pursuing higher education in Illinois is finally going down, and we're opening the door to a brighter future for more Illinoisans. I'm also asking the General Assembly to broaden the allowable uses of MAP scholarships for career training programs in critical industries like healthcare.”

Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt (Feb. 7)

“I met with the Secretary of the Air Force at the Pentagon because we expect to add 6-10,000 jobs there [Tinker Air Force Base] in the next five years. Our state’s workforce needs to grow at the same pace as our businesses. That means we have to be bold. Our entire education system must be aligned and motivated to meet this challenge head on. Let’s tear down the silos between K-12, Career Techs and Higher Ed to train the next generation. Every student needs to be college ready or career ready. … Let’s increase apprenticeships in high school and pathways to jobs that don’t require a college degree. Let’s align and leverage our system to train every Oklahoman with the skills they need to provide for their family.”

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown (Feb. 3)

On workforce, Gov. Kate Brown said “we must do more than give people particular job skills. At the heart of Future Ready Oregon is the idea of ‘earn and learn.’ We need to help Oregonians create a career ladder. We need to take an entry-level job, like a certified nursing assistant, and provide the skills to advance to careers in paramedicine, nursing, or health care administration. That’s turning a job

into a career.”

“The building blocks of Future Ready Oregon can be summarized in three key investments:

First, we will surge an immediate $92 million to the programs we know are currently working — like Constructing Hope, which helps Oregonians get back on their feet with no-cost construction training and career advancement support.

“Second, we will drive innovation through flexible grants to community-based organizations that uniquely target the industries I just mentioned. ….”

“And last, we know Oregonians cannot be successful and productive in our economy without meeting their basic needs, like stable housing and child care. We will be launching navigators across the state to make sure Oregonians in our job training programs have what they need to succeed. That could mean financial help with school tuition. It could mean providing software programs to help someone complete their coursework. It could be assistance with transportation or housing. We are asking Oregonians: What do you need to stay on your career path and land that good-paying job? We will help.”

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf (Feb. 8)

“Our budget surplus is not an excuse for a spending spree — but it is a chance to make more investments that can open the doors to opportunity for more Pennsylvania families. More investments in job training and small business assistance so people can find not just a job that pays, but a career they’re passionate about. More investments in clean energy and infrastructure so we can lay the foundation for another generation of economic success.”

Part 4 coverage updated Feb. 3 covering Massachusetts, Michigan and Tennessee:

Several more governors gave their State of the State addresses before the month of January closed, with Massachusetts seeking “big ideas” to get to net zero, electric vehicle rebates in Michigan, and a range of proposals in Tennessee. This week marks the fourth installment of our Tech Talkin’ Govs series where we bring you news and words from the state leaders on initiatives that could affect the innovation economy.

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker (Jan. 25)

Gov. Charlie Baker expressed his appreciation over the opportunity to testify before the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities & Energy on his fourth climate proposal. “This one builds on our very successful offshore wind agenda and includes the creation of a $750 million Clean Energy Innovation Fund,” he said. “There are big ideas looking for a chance to test themselves in our academic institutions and our cutting-edge research organizations. This fund can create the ground-breaking solutions we need to get to net zero.”

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (Jan. 26)

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said she is “proposing a combined $2,500 electric vehicle rebate for families-$2,000 for the car and $500 for in-home charging equipment. This will build on the $7,500 federal electric vehicle credit. If we get this done, we can lower the cost of electric vehicles by nearly $10,000. We can make it easier for Michiganders to go electric.”

“I'll also work to invest federal resources we have received with plans I released last year like MI New Economy, which would grow the middle class, support small businesses, and invest in our communities.”

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee (Jan. 31)

“We have the financial capacity to innovate and approach key areas like education and infrastructure with fresh eyes,” said Gov. Bill Lee. In focusing on education, the governor said his budget includes one-time funding to expand high school and middle school career and technical opportunities “so every student can graduate with the industry credential they need to join the workforce of tomorrow. As we again work to make gains in elementary reading and mathematics, we will work to ensure students have tailored options in science, technology, engineering and technical training. We will grow our investment in the Future Workforce Initiative by $2.5 million and will propose new legislation to make computer science and coding available to every high school student in Tennessee.”

The governor said he is committing $200 million in Tennessee College of Applied Technology (TCAT) expansions “to help double our skilled workforce by 2026 and ensure that any Tennessean wishing to further their education can immediately enroll in a TCAT.”

“We are also proud to propose a series of research investments to ensure we stay on track to be America at Its Best. … We are proposing $50 million toward a research endowment to propel work that will make Memphis a global leader in AgriTech, cybersecurity, and the digital workforce.”

“Meeting our full potential also means being home to some of the best historically black colleges and universities in the country.

Back in November 2020, the Speakers appointed a Joint Land Grant Committee, chaired by Representative Harold Love, to explore how the state can better understand the new needs of Tennessee State University.

Today, I'm recommending a $250 million dollar investment to improve the physical infrastructure at TSU.

Our commitment to innovation will continue east right through the Oak Ridge corridor.

We’re investing more than $70 million to complete the Oak Ridge Innovation Institute, which is a partnership with the University of Tennessee to invest in data science, technology, advanced materials, and much more.

“Tennessee’s expanded nuclear potential rests at the Clinch River site as one of the few undeveloped, certified nuclear sites in the country,” he said. “We are working directly with TVA to formalize a long-term strategy so the Clinch River site can be part of powering America. If we’re going to have a real conversation about energy in America, it needs to be safe, cheap to produce, and reliable. I believe that conversation starts right here in Tennessee at the Clinch River site.”

Part 3 coverage posted Jan. 27, covering Delaware, Hawaii, Missouri, South Carolina and Virginia:

More than half of the nation’s governors have now given their State of the State address, and this week we bring you news of several that presented new innovation-related initiatives for their states. Most governors remain cautious in their outlooks and are focused on ways to recover from the pandemic. Broadband and federal stimulus dollars continue to play a role, while education and job initiatives also play a role in development strategies. This third week of coverage focuses on Delaware, Hawaii, Missouri, South Carolina, and Virginia.

Delaware Gov. John Carney (Jan. 20)

Using federal stimulus dollars, Gov. John Carney said libraries in every county would be built and upgraded. He also said the state would build out its electric vehicle infrastructure. Carney said that “building a workforce ready for jobs of the future may be our biggest challenge,” and said the state is investing more than $50 million in federal stimulus funds to strengthen its workforce training programs, and has plans to expand the Pathways program (an education and workforce partnership that creates a career pathways system for all youth) to reach more than 6,000 middle school students and 80 percent of high school students.

Hawaii Gov. David Ige (Jan. 24)

To help residents that may have lost jobs or are pursuing new career paths, Gov. David Ige said the state’s Department of Labor is rolling out the Hawaii Career Acceleration Navigator, a one-stop, online hub that will provide new career and training opportunities. To help support businesses, Ige said the state will launch a $56 million State Small Business Credit Initiative to provide capital for local start-up tech companies. 

Hawaii is also leveraging state resources to maximize federal funding for broadband and Ige said he is “proposing the largest investment in technology in state history — a total of more than $400 million.”

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson (Jan. 19)

Gov. Mike Parson said that he is requesting $31 million for the state’s colleges and universities through the MO Excels projects to help expand enrollment in high-demand jobs. “Additionally, we are investing $20 million dollars in grant funding for our 57 area career centers to expand career and technical education programs.” His administration will also “recommend funding for the top capital improvements at state community colleges and 4-year institutions. Combined with the MO Excels projects and scholarship opportunities, this investment will total nearly $600 million dollars… AND generate over $1.1 billion dollars in economic impact for our state.” Parson said he is also proposing $400 million to further increase broadband access to rural areas and urban areas that are underserved.

Parson is also calling for $10 million to expand agriculture innovation and workforce programs.

South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster (Jan. 19)

Gov. Henry McMaster proposed an investment of $124 million to expand the Workforce Scholarships for the Future program, which allows residents to earn an industry credential or an associate degree in high-demand careers such as manufacturing, healthcare, computer science, information technology, transportation, logistics, or construction. His executive budget also would freeze college tuition for in-state students, in exchange for an indexed appropriation based on the number of in-state students enrolled at each public institution. “Also, every South Carolina resident who qualifies for a federal Pell Grant will be eligible for 100 percent of their tuition to be paid for with a grant at any in-state public college, university, or technical college.”

McMaster also proposed an additional $400million in federal funds for the State’s Broadband Infrastructure Program.

Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin (Jan. 17)

Gov. Glenn Youngkin, who took office on Jan. 15, said he is calling for $150 million to help meet a goal of starting 20 new charter schools and that he would build partnerships between the commonwealth and universities “to create lab schools of excellence.” Without providing details, Youngkin also said, “We’re going to invest in job training. We’re going to foster innovation. And we’re going to win the competition for jobs and corporate re-locations. I support a significant investment in mega-sites. … .” Youngkin said he would create the “Coastal Virginia Resiliency Authority to battle rising seas and make sure the federal government does its part, too.”

Part 2 coverage posted Jan. 20 covering Colorado, Kansas, New Jersey, South Dakota and Washington:

This week we continue our review of the governors’ State of the State addresses for news impacting a state’s innovation economy and new initiatives the governors may be announcing on that front. This week we bring you updates from governors’ plans in Colorado, Kansas, New Jersey, South Dakota and Washington.

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (Jan. 13)

Gov. Jared Polis, in an effort to foster the entrepreneurial spirit in the state, said he would work with the secretary of state and others to make it free for Coloradans to start their own business. On education, Polis said he has a plan for “historic investment in kindergarten through 12th grade education,” and also said he is “proposing stronger support for our state’s institutions of higher education, including an expansion of available financial aid, and investments to help reduce costs and keep tuition flat.”

Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly (Jan. 11)

Gov. Laura Kelly announced that her budget includes a total freeze on college tuition increases.

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (Jan. 11)

Gov. Phil Murphy said a new public-private partnership, the Innovation Evergreen Fund, “will get to work pairing both public and private investment to support the next generation of leading-edge technology startup businesses.

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (Jan. 11)

Gov. Kristi Noem called for the elimination of fees associated with starting or renewing a business with the secretary of state in South Dakota. She also plans to expand the cybersecurity program at Dakota State University with a $30 million investment.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (Jan. 11)

Gov. Jay Inslee said his budget would create a Poverty Reduction Workgroup and use their recommendations to help “create a $125 million reinvestment fund to address economic and social disparities across decades that are the legacy of federal policies that hurt communities of color.” Inslee also said he is building on the previous climate work the state has done and putting “$626 million more toward this noble effort.” He would also combine state money with one-time and new federal funds available to “provide nearly $1 billion to fund clean transportation programs and activities that reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector; preserve the infrastructure we have; and support critical investments to improve ferry service reliability. This includes $324 million to support ferry electrification. We desperately need boats – cleaner boats – to give Washingtonians reliable ferry services.”

Part 1 coverage posted Jan. 13 covering Kentucky, New York, Vermont, Arizona, Idaho and Iowa:

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear (Jan. 5)

Gov. Andy Beshear promised that his forthcoming budget will make “historic investments” in education; create a fund for investing in development sites; invest in essential workers; and, ensure “we remain a leader in agriculture technology in Eastern Kentucky and will build on our pharmaceutical footprint in Northern Kentucky … .”

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (Jan. 5)

Gov. Kathy Hochul, noting that her address was the first time a woman delivered the state of the state in New York, outlined what she is calling “a whole New Era for New York.” On healthcare, the governor set a goal to grow the healthcare workforce by 20 percent over the next five years and expand the capacity of the state’s medical institutions so more students can train for high-demand healthcare jobs, which would be made possible with free tuition and stipends if they remain in state after graduation.

Hochul said she will “invest smartly and strategically in workforce development programs which simply means matching people to training, to jobs.” To increase the number of trained workers, she said she will reboot the Workforce Development Office and house it in Empire State Development to build stronger partnerships with employers and move funding through the Regional Economic Development Councils. To incentivize success, Hochul would tie a portion of workforce funding to high job placement rates and make it easier to qualify as an MWBE (minority and/or women-owned business enterprise).

To expand educational opportunities, Hochul would make the state’s tuition assistance program available to part-time students. She outlined a vision for the SUNY system, that would include “recruiting world-class faculty, creating flagship institutions at Stony Brook and the University at Buffalo, investing more in our premier research facilities at Binghamton and Albany, leaning into the strengths of our four-year comprehensive colleges, our technology colleges, and our community colleges, providing childcare on each campus, Increasing enrollment to 500,000 students by 2030, making SUNY a national leader on equity, increasing the number and diversity of people in every community with degrees and credentials that launch middle class careers and ensuring that SUNY campuses spur economic growth in their surrounding communities.”

A $1 billion investment in New York’s digital infrastructure would boost innovation and economic growth, especially in the most remote communities, Hochul said.

Hochul said a move to increase the Environmental Bond Act to $4 billion would go on the ballot this fall to provide resources to help fight against climate change. She also announced a $500 million investment in offshore wind energy.

The full State of the State Book is available here.

Vermont Gov. Phil Scott (Jan. 5)

Gov. Phil Scott outlined the challenges facing the state, specifically workforce challenges resulting from a high cost of living, which has led to people and families leaving the state, “creating a vicious cycle that’s been difficult to break.” He went on to say that there is opportunity to transform the state. His proposals will be geared toward the workforce, and he said the state will invest more to help cover interns’ wages. “If we make smart changes to current policy, we can open the door to Career and Technical Education, giving kids multiple paths to a lucrative career and filling these crucial jobs,” Scott said. “But more importantly, we need to do more to encourage students to pursue these programs.”

The governor said he will again propose a comprehensive relocation package that markets to people with past ties or current interest in Vermont and that his budget will support the Senate’s worker relocation incentive program to bring in more families that in turn contribute to the economy.

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (Jan. 10)

Gov. Doug Ducey credited Arizona workers for fueling the “healthy and transformed” economy, and noted that the “manufacturing sector is on fire,” even outpacing construction. He called for investing in workers, “arming them with the skills they need for our growing semiconductor and advanced manufacturing industries. … Our budget makes historic investments into community colleges to empower our people with a quality education and the skills of the future.” He called for a program to waive veterans’ spouses’ tuition at in-state universities and community colleges. To secure the state’s water future, the governor proposed a $1 billion investment in desalination technology.

Idaho Gov. Brad Little (Jan. 10)

The governor proposed making “the largest investment in Idaho education, ever,” adding $1.1 billion over the next five years to improve Idaho education. He also proposed “$50 million for the new Empowering Parents grants. The grants will cover things such as computers, tutoring, internet connectivity and other needs so students have the best chance for success.” He also proposed $12 million to establish a new Cyber Response and Defense Fund.

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds (Jan. 11)  

In noting the pressing need for healthcare workers, Gov. Kim Reynolds said the state is launching a new healthcare registered apprenticeship program that will provide funding to at least five communities to scale a program that offers students hands-on experience in medical settings while earning a wage.

Reynolds also is introducing new legislation that will upgrade Iowa’s fuel infrastructure to offer higher fuel blends. She is also proposing to invest in carbon-capture solutions to sustain and build on the state’s position in renewable energy.

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