federal spending

NASBO reports a 9.3% increase in state fund higher education spending between fiscal 2021 and 2022

In addition to last week’s Digest story on all state expenditures, the National Association of State Budget Officers’ (NASBO) 2022 State Expenditures Report detailed information on higher education expenditures, finding a 9.4% increase (from $225 to $247 billion) in total higher education expenditures over the past fiscal year, a sizable increase from the 1.7% increase experienced from FY 2020 to 2021. State funds for higher education increased 9.3% and federal funds saw an increase of 12.1%. This represents a large growth in state fund spending (from -0.3% in FY 2021), yet a decrease in momentum for federal fund spending (from 15% in FY 2022).

NASBO 2022 State Expenditures Report shows an 18.1% surge in general fund spending

The National Association of State Budget Officers’ (NASBO) 2022 State Expenditures Report found total state spending to have grown an estimated 7.3% between fiscal years (FY) 2021 and 2022 ($2.66 to $2.86 trillion), 1.5 percentage points higher than the 36-year average growth of 5.8% per annum. This increase in state spending can be largely attributed to an 18.1% surge in general fund spending from FY 2021 to 2022 (following an increase of just 2.2% from FY 2020 to 2021) — the highest rate in the 36-year history of NASBO’s State Expenditure Report history. State spending from outside of the general fund (including bonds) also increased by 5.2% (to $725 billion), while state expenditures from federal funds declined by 0.2% (to $1.08 trillion).

2020 BERD data shows an increase of over $45 billion in domestic R&D spending

Despite COVID-induced setbacks continuing to keep some people out of offices and laboratories, new Business Enterprise Research and Development Survey (BERD) data reveals that domestic research and development (R&D) spending, although slowing, is still on an uptrend. From 2018 to 2019, business R&D spending increased by 11.8% (from approximately $441 billion to $492 billion), with new data showing a further increase of 9.1% from 2019 to 2020 ($492 billion to $538 billion).

TBED-related projects benefit from congressional earmarks’ return

With the return of congressionally-directed spending — more commonly known as “earmarks” — for the FY 2022 budget, nearly 5,000 projects received more than $9.6 billion in such funding. The return of the earmarks followed a 10-year absence after the practice was banned in 2011. SSTI’s review of the spending data, which was collected by the Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) from the congressional appropriations committees, showed that projects related to technology-based economic development (TBED) were included in the funding.

Innovation and new opportunity front and center in the American Jobs Plan

As noted in our separate overview, the 25-page American Jobs Plan provides goals, highlights and proposals, but also raises questions about how proposals would be implemented and even exactly how much money would be spent. Those details presumably will come in the near future when legislative language is submitted. The document and much of the news covering it is organized around six goals. For our readership, we have taken a slightly different approach. Major themes and key aspects of the proposal are below. All quoted text is from the AJP summary released by the White House on the morning of March 31, 2021.

Federal R&D lost over $200 billion due to Budget Control Act, AAAS finds

In the wake of the Great Recession, Congress enacted the Budget Control Act (BCA) of 2011 to curb federal discretionary spending as the nation approached the statutory debt limit. Originally intended to reduce spending by nearly $2 trillion over the period from FY 2012 through FY 2021, the BCA spending caps were periodically raised by Congress. While these negotiations reduced the overall impact of the BCA, new analysis from the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) estimates that more than $200 billion in federal R&D spending were nonetheless “lost” to these spending cuts, impacting several key elements of innovation economies — higher education R&D, private R&D investment, and STEM workforce development.

DoD releases FY 2019 Defense Spending by State report

Each year more than half of the discretionary portion of the federal budget is spent by the Department of Defense (DOD). In FY 2019, the DOD figure is estimated to be $712.5 billion and 77 percent of it was spent in the 50 states and District of Columbus, based on a new report from the Office of Local Defense Community Cooperation (OLDCC) — formerly the Office of Economic Adjustment. The report outlines those DoD personnel and contractual expenditures in each state for the year. The nature and importance of defense spending varies widely by state, as the following SSTI chart and the original DOD report reveal.

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