state budgets

Free tuition offerings continue to evolve in states across the US

New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham became the latest governor to propose a plan for free tuition, with what has been called the “one of the most ambitious attempts to make higher education more accessible.” If approved, the plan would allow in-state students to attend any of the 29 state public colleges or universities, regardless of income. It is designed as a “last-dollar” program.

University of Alaska students facing turmoil under budget cuts, academic consolidation

As the summer ends and students begin returning to school, the situation for students in the University of Alaska System is uncertain, although less so after recent negotiations between Gov. Mike Dunleavy and University of Alaska (U.A.) System’s administration.

NJ governor signs bills to expand angel investment tax credits, fund TBED

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy signed multiple bills late last month that may help position the state as a leader in technology-based economic development. One bill increases the tax credit for angel investors in qualified technology companies, with even larger credits available for investments in women- and minority-owned businesses and those located in low-income areas. Meanwhile, the state’s approved FY 2020 budget includes $1.0 million for the New Jersey Commission on Science, Innovation, and Technology. After nearly a decade of receiving no funding from the state, this marks the second consecutive year that the commission will receive $1.0 million to support technology-based economic development.

Despite economic expansion, states suffer lingering effects of recession

An issue brief this month from the Pew Research Center asserts that despite the current national economic expansion still underway, states are still coping with lasting effects of the 18-month recession that ended in 2009. Calling it a “lost decade,” the authors found that although budget pressures have eased in several ways, states still have not fully restored cuts in funding for infrastructure, public schools and universities, the number of state workers, and support for local governments.

NASBO finds state finances improving

In its latest report on the conditions of the states, the National Association of State Budget Officers (NASBO) found that conditions continue to improve and show more stability, with funding expected to grow 4.3 percent in FY 2019. NASBO also reported that 40 states saw general fund revenue collections coming in higher than budget projections in fiscal 2018. General fund revenues grew 6.4 percent in fiscal 2018, due to an increase in personal income tax collections, and are projected to grow 2.1 percent in fiscal 2019.

Will balanced budget requirements result in state innovation cuts?

Strict balanced budget requirements, tax or expenditure limits and party control of a state legislature and governorship can influence innovation funding when states respond to deficits. As states face new political landscapes and decision makers in their legislatures, the implications of a recent study on the topic emphasize the importance of keeping innovation on a state’s agenda.

NASBO State Expenditure Report shows increases in spending and revenue collections

The National Association of State Budget Officers (NASBO) is reporting that total state spending rose in FY 2018, exceeding $2 trillion for the first time. While spending increased in both FY 2017 (3.8 percent) and 2018 (4.6 percent), it was still below the historical average of 5.6 percent, with the strongest growth in spending reported in the far West and Southeast. All program areas experienced an increase in total state spending, with Medicaid showing the largest percentage increase.

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.

Massachusetts advances new manufacturing, apprenticeship funding in last state budget of FY 2019

Nearly a month after the start of the new fiscal year, Massachusetts legislators have approved an FY 2019 budget. Science and innovation stakeholders may find it worth the wait. Included in the $42 billion budget are new funding for a precision manufacturing initiative that will fund multiple, local activities ($2.7 million) and $500,000 for registered apprenticeships.

Workforce winning in latest state budget proposals; KS, MA, MI, OK, TN reviewed

Workforce development programs and apprenticeships continue to win favor in many of the governors’ state budget proposals. In our latest review of TBED initiatives being proposed in state budgets, we found Kansas asking for additional funds for research, worker training and apprenticeships; Massachusetts is looking to double community college scholarship funding and increase several workforce development initiatives; and in Michigan, skilled trades training would receive a boost.

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