Tech Talkin' Govs: Tax Reform, Higher Ed Featured in Governors' State of the State Addresses

March 05, 2015

SSTI's Tech Talkin' Govs series has returned as governors across the country formally convene 2015 legislative sessions. The series highlights new and expanded TBED proposals from governors' State of the State, Budget and Inaugural addresses.

The final installment of this year’s series includes excerpts from speeches delivered in Alabama, Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Texas. Read the first, second, third, fourth and fifth installments of this year’s series.

Alabama
Gov. Robert Bentley, 2015 State of the State Address, March 3, 2015
"This Session we will introduce the Made in Alabama Accelerate Alabama Jobs Incentive Package. Our current incentives are 15 years old, out of date and 100 – percent dependent on borrowing money.

"This new incentives package will no longer be based solely on debt.

"It will increase incentives for new projects that locate in rural areas, like Vernon, Alabama.

"It will offer incentives for those who invest in Small Businesses and Start-Ups.

"It will provide research and development credits for work done with Alabama-based research centers. And it will provide additional incentives for new wages paid to our Veterans.

"The Alabama Legislature has always played a critical role in helping to make sure our state is a leader in economic development, and passing the Accelerate Alabama Economic Incentive Package will ensure Alabama remains a leader.

"Passing the Accelerate Alabama Jobs Incentive Package will once again make sure that Alabama leads the nation in the recruitment of high-skilled, well-paying jobs the people of our state need and deserve. ..."

"...Last fall we launched the Alabama Small Business Commission, and Atlas Alabama, which help identify all resources available to small businesses, and bring them under one roof.

"The Commission, made up solely of small business owners, will encourage innovation, promote policies to help new business start-ups, and allow small businesses to give state government ideas and suggestions to help their businesses grow."

Florida
Gov. Rick Scott, State of the State Address, March 3, 2015
"I have also recommended that we permanently end the tax on manufacturing equipment so more companies will make major capital investments in Florida. ..."

"... I have recommended that we get rid of the state sales tax on college textbooks because getting a higher education degree must become more affordable. ..."

"... If we are going to out-compete the world, the second thing we must do is make higher education more affordable. I want to work with you this year to pass a college affordability bill that will hold the line on graduate school tuition and bring transparency to university costs. Just like any business, we should expect education to become more affordable each year, not more expensive. ..."

"... Third, to out-compete the world, we must invest in workforce development. Our recommended investments this year include: $30 million for high-skill workforce training; $20 million for advanced workforce training at our tech centers; $5 million to incentivize $10,000 STEM degrees at our state colleges; and $1 million to create a paid summer program for STEM teachers.

"Fourth, if we are going to out-compete the world, we must invest in K-12 education. This year, we are recommending an increase in K-12 funding to $50 above the historic level to $7,176 per student. ..."

Ohio
Gov. John Kasich, 2015 State of the State Address, Feb. 23, 2015
"... [L]et's talk about the CAT tax. It was created 10 years ago and has been a huge benefit to large companies, especially manufacturing companies. ..."

"Of course we want to see them succeed, but we also want Ohio's small enterprises to succeed because they're the real engines of economic growth. ... So let's reform the CAT tax and eliminate small business income taxes altogether. ..."

Pennsylvania
Gov. Tom Wolf, 2015-2016 Budget Speech, March 3, 2015
"We propose the creation of a “Made in Pennsylvania” cash-back jobs program.

"For manufacturing companies that increase their annual taxable payroll by at least one million dollars to create solid, middle-class jobs: they will receive cash payments of up to five percent of new taxable income the following year.

"And let's go one step further:

"In our Grant and Loan Programs we should give priority to Pennsylvania companies. ..."

"...Now to grow our middle class, our citizens must have access to the education and training that today’s jobs require.

"That’s why we are proposing to restore job training and apprenticeship programs at our community colleges, to help middle-class families make the transition to jobs in this new economy. "

Texas
Gov. Greg Abbott, 2015 State of the State Address, Feb. 17, 2015
"We will do all of this while still fostering the economic model that creates more jobs than any other state. While our job creation is legendary, many states are overhauling their economic development programs to compete with Texas. We will rise to the challenge by making the Texas Enterprise Fund more efficient, more effective and more transparent to help grow even more jobs in Texas.

"If a business receives a grant from the Enterprise Fund, taxpayers must know that the decision was based only on merit."

Alabama, Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texastech talkin govs