SSTI Digest

The latest reporting and analysis on breakthroughs in technology-based economic development research and issues that matter most to you. To receive the SSTI Weekly Digest via email, sign up here.


Geography: Wisconsin

Student loan debt limiting entrepreneurship; Wisconsin takes aim

A recent brief shows the troubled relationship between student loan debt and entrepreneurship. The report, Student Loans and Entrepreneurship: An Overview from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, found that of those student borrowers who currently own or plan to own a business, nearly half reported that their student loans affected their ability to start a business. Additionally, among those who did start businesses, higher levels of student loan debt were negatively related to business income and employment.

States dealt blow with pandemic

In general, the effect of the pandemic on states’ budgets due to the wave of business, retail, and commerce shutdowns, as well as other reduced economic activity across the nation, is not entirely known, or too early to forecast; however, a number of states are beginning to experience the initial impacts of a substantial downturn. With several states having already enacted their 2020-21 budgets, special sessions are expected later this year to deal with declining revenues. Others ended sessions early without a new fiscal year spending plan in place.

Tech Talkin’ Govs 2020: DE, HI, ME, MA, NE, NM, SD, WI trying to build economies

The economy, workforce and climate change continue to surface in governors' state of the state addresses. While today’s strong economy allows most governors to reflect on how the states have grown, preparing for the next downturn continues to be a point of concern.

States take the lead on climate change

When Gov. Janet Mills addressed the United Nations General Assembly on Sept. 23, it was the first time a sitting governor of Maine has been asked to address the body. She had been invited as part of her participation in the UN Climate Action Summit 2019, and has made tackling climate change and embracing renewable energy key priorities of her administration. She is not the only governor stepping into the role where the federal government has backed out.

Ten states selected for manufacturing-focused Policy Academy

Ten states from across the country have been selected as part of a unique program designed to grow and strengthen their manufacturers. Over the course of the next year, interdisciplinary state teams will meet together in Washington, D.C., and separately in their home states, to develop and refine strategies impacting manufacturing industries.

Tech Talkin’ Govs part 5: Tax incentives, clean energy, help for higher ed strike note in governors' addresses

More than half of the governors have now delivered their state of the state addresses, and TBED initiatives continue to play a prominent role in their plans. Higher ed’s affordability and/or role in the workforce are concerns in Montana, South Carolina, Utah and Vermont. Maryland is looking at clean energy and higher education. Utah is also grappling with burgeoning growth while Vermont considers measures to increase its workforce.

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.

Governors target diverse strategies to build rural broadband capacity, spur economic growth

With more than 30 percent of rural America still lacking access to what the FCC considers adequate broadband, governors from across the country are working toward diverse strategies to build rural broadband capacity. By providing rural communities with access to full-speed, stable broadband, these governors hope that they can revitalize rural communities by helping small business formation and expansion as well as improve educational achievement/workforce training for rural citizens.

Tech Talkin’ Govs 2018, part 4: CA, HI, MA, MI, ND, SC, WI

SSTI’s Tech Talkin’ Govs feature continues as governors across the country roll out their state of the state addresses. We review each speech for comments relevant to the innovation economy, and bring you their words directly from their addresses. In this fourth installment, we present excerpts from governors in California, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Michigan, North Dakota, South Carolina and Wisconsin.

This week’s review includes states like California with its goal for lower carbon output to Hawaii and Massachusetts who are looking to increase their use of renewable energy sources. Meanwhile, energy-dependent North Dakota is looking to diversify its economy and Wisconsin seeks ways to build its workforce.

New programs in NY, WI make manufacturing productivity a priority

Overall growth in manufacturing should accelerate this year and grow even more in 2018, according to recent projections from the Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity and Innovation (MAPI). As a way to support manufacturers — especially small and medium sized ones — two states recently announced programs to boost their productivity.

CT, WI sign budgets following difficult negotiations

Connecticut and Wisconsin both ended their protracted budget negotiations with the governors signing budgets in late September and late October. Faced with budget constraints and uncertainty about the spending plan, Connecticut’s funding for economic and community development is decreasing along with funding for the state’s MEP center and Manufacturing Supply Chain program, with no general funds provided for them in the second year of the biennium. Wisconsin appears to be maintaining its status quo on TBED-related initiatives and has increased funding to universities that increase enrollments for “high-demand” degree programs, making $5 million available on a competitive basis.

AL, CT, FL, MI, MO, OK, PA and WI budget proposals boost and cut TBED

In the latest round of state budget proposals, TBED initiatives receive mixed reviews. Some governors are boosting funding while others in cash-strapped states are proposing cuts.

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