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Geography: Wyoming

Tech Talkin’ Govs 2023: Governors’ innovation vision from their annual addresses

After a busy election season that saw gubernatorial elections in 36 states, newly elected and re-elected governors are beginning to deliver their annual State of the State addresses, kicking off new programs and reviewing the conditions of their states. SSTI reviews the speeches every year and covers news of new developments and initiatives the governors have highlighted as they relate to the innovation economy. New programs are laid out here in the governors own words as excerpts from their addresses. In these first addresses, there is heavy emphasis on workforce and education among all governors; water issues for Western governors; and, clean energy. Scroll through the story to find updates as more addresses are delivered.

Higher education, lower taxes in governors’ plans for growth

Several more State of the State addresses were delivered already this month, leaving just a few states yet to go and the pandemic and recovery from the pandemic, not surprisingly, continue to feature heavily in governors’ plans. Energy opportunities, tax cuts, broadband and shifts in the model for higher education are in play in this week’s review of addresses from California, Florida, New Hampshire and Wyoming.

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. Many are also acting quickly to help mitigate the effects of lost revenues and an increased demand for services. Some of the states’ impacts and actions are outlined below.

Tech Talkin’ Govs 2020: AL, CT, MD, OK, PA, TN, WY look to education, workforce and energy initiatives

With nearly 40 of the state governors now having given a state of the state or budget address, innovation themes continue to echo in their reviews of past accomplishments and plans for the coming year. There is a priority on education (both on teacher salaries and preK initiatives as seen in Alabama, in addition to higher education and a focus on its affordability with Connecticut proposing free tuition for community college for recent high school grads and Pennsylvania putting additional dollars into scholarships), energy, workforce, broadband and a special emphasis on distressed communities in Connecticut and Tennessee. While SSTI continues to review the addresses and features excerpts as they relate to innovation intiatives in this series, remaining speeches will be scattered over the coming weeks.

In trying to build economic diversity, Wyoming targeting certain sectors

Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon recently announced that changes are coming to the state’s ENDOW initiative, a 20-year vision that was crafted under his predecessor, Gov. Matt Mead. As part of the coming changes, Gordon said the initiative will target certain industries (such as aerospace, defense and healthcare), be smaller in its scope, and incremental in its strategy. The governor said in a statement that while the vision of ENDOW will continue driving state economic diversification, efforts will now shift toward targeted implementation plans. With the 20-year strategy and action plans already submitted, the governor will no longer convene the executive council, but the ENDOW-initiated programs and committees will continue.

Tech Talkin’ Govs 2019, part 2: Broadband, education, climate change fixes on governors’ radars

Reviewing another slate of governors’ state of the state and inaugural addresses reveals some recurring themes. With a focus on maintaining gains made since the Great Recession and increasing budgets, many governors are holding off on major new initiatives, but are proposing means to increase broadband access, diversify their economies, build renewable energy efforts, and increase their rainy day funds in case of an economic downturn. SSTI presents part 2 of our Tech Talkin’ Govs series, with coverage of governors in Colorado, Connecticut, Oregon, Virginia, West Virginia and Wyoming.

Carbon tech could spur WY job creation

The carbon tech industry in Wyoming could support an average of 2,600 jobs annually over the next 17 years, according to a new report by the American Jobs Project — a U.C. Berkeley-based nonpartisan think tank. Developed in partnership with the University of Wyoming, American Jobs Project researchers contend that the projected job growth could occur if the state government and private industry invested in growing this industry cluster. Carbon tech companies use coal, an abundant resource in Wyoming, to make graphene, carbon fiber and other products. In addition to job creation within the carbon tech industry, the authors cite job growth potential in downstream industries, primarily wind and transmission line developers.

Wyoming looks to diversify economy through generational strategy

After nearly 18 months of planning and meetings that gathered input from nearly 140,000 participants, Gov. Matt Mead announced the release of a 20-year strategy for the diversification of the state’s economy. Through the plan, the leaders of Economically Needed Diversity Options for Wyoming (ENDOW) provided more than 50 recommendations for the state government and private industries to help grow and attract businesses to Wyoming as well as keep talented young people in state. The intent of this new blueprint for the state’s economy is to reduce the likelihood of repeating the boom-and-bust cycles that plagued the state in the past.

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.

Wyoming legislature passes bills promoting innovation, economic diversification

Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead has approved legislation that will help promote economic diversification through innovation in a state that has relied heavily on a relatively small number of resource-based industries. Mead recently signed multiple pieces of legislation that comprise ENDOW (Economically Needed Diversity Options for Wyoming), a 20-year initiative focused on diversifying and growing the state’s economy. Notable bills include Senate File 118, which will establish a dedicated organization to support Wyoming’s entrepreneurs and provide funds to innovative startups, and Senate File 119, which will establish a dedicated fund for workforce training in economic sectors considered a priority for the state.

Tech Talkin’ Govs 2018, part 6: AR, CT, ME, WY look to boost economies

SSTI’s Tech Talkin’ Govs feature continues as governors across the country are wrapping up 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 latest installment of Tech Talkin’ Govs, Arkansas is celebrating its low unemployment while Maine says it will focus on a commercialization bond and grow the workforce in part through a student debt relief program. Connecticut wants new goals for clean energy and Wyoming’s focus on economic diversification continues with the governor there calling for full funding for the ENDOW initiative.

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. Governors have announced new initiatives in Michigan, Missouri, North Carolina, and Wyoming, and in Wisconsin, Gov. Scott Walker is calling for Federal Communications Commission (FCC) rule changes to increase access to broadband internet across the country.

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