governors

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

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)

Governors face growing pushback

According to Governing, if 2020 was the year of the governor, 2021 is shaping up to be its end, as lawmakers across the country begin to curtail the sweeping powers of their state executives, following a pandemic and concurrent economic shutdown that led governors to flex their authority in historic new ways.

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.

Kansas reveals first economic development plan in 30 years, shifts focus to innovation

Last month, Gov. Laura Kelly (D), alongside former state governors Mike Hayden (R) and John Carlin (D), and the Lt. Gov. and Secretary of Commerce David Toland, announced “Framework for Growth”, the state’s first economic development plan in over 30 years. The plan, which was a year in the making, is a collaborative effort that involves input from over 2,000 Kansans, the staff of the Department of Commerce, and two former governors.

A remembrance: Richard L. Thornburgh (1932-2020)

As 2020 came to a close, we received word that former Pennsylvania Gov. Dick Thornburgh had passed away on Dec. 31. Obituaries in the New York TimesWashington Post and Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, rightly focused on his tenure as U.S. Attorney General and his two terms as governor, including his handling of Three Mile Island shortly after becoming governor. But I would like to focus on his legacy as it relates to technology-based economic development (TBED) and as a person.

All incumbent governors reelected; only Montana sees party switch

After a historic election night, the winners of the gubernatorial elections in 11 states appear to have been chosen. Barring a dramatic swing in votes, all of the nine incumbent governors have been reelected to a second or third term. In Montana, Rep. Greg Gianforte (R) has flipped control of the governor’s seat, and in Utah, Spencer Cox (R) has defeated Chris Peterson (D). Many of the incumbent governors held strong approval ratings going into election night and won their voters’ approval for another term as the country tries to inch out of the pandemic and recover economically.

Policy positions of gubernatorial candidates in 11 states discussed

Eleven states are holding gubernatorial elections this year with nine incumbents seeking reelection, two of which are facing off against their lieutenant governor. Only one governor, Steve Bullock in Montana, is term-limited and unable to seek reelection. In Utah, Gov. Gary Herbert is stepping down from the position he has held for 10 years. While many of the races this year will reflect referendums on the current governor’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, many of the candidates have announced their innovation and economic development initiatives.

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