state tbed

20 new governors to take office following election

With 36 governorships up for election — and more than half those open either due to retirements, term limits, or lost primaries — new faces were guaranteed in state offices across the country. As a result of Tuesday’s voting, 20 new governors will be taking office and 16 of 18 incumbent governors that were on the ballot on Tuesday will be serving another term (Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker were the only incumbent governors. defeated on Tuesday).

Voters mostly supporting education and redistricting initiatives, mixed on energy

SSTI has reviewed the results of ballot initiatives affecting innovation following Tuesday’s election. Higher education funding received support from voters in Maine, Montana, New Jersey and Rhode Island; however, a South Dakota measure aimed specifically at developing a fund to assist the state's postsecondary technical institutes and students was defeated. Additionally, Utah voters opposed using gas taxes to fund its schools. Several states had clean energy initiatives on their ballots, with mixed results.

MA authorizes more than $1 billion in new economic development activities

The Massachusetts legislature ended its 2018 session with a slate of bills related to tech-based economic development. Legislation for general economic development, life sciences industry, and green communities created new authorizations and provided for more than $1 billion in bond funding authority, with a substantial portion allocation to innovation-related activities. From broadband access to SBIR support to workforce development, the bills created a host of new opportunities for TBED in the Bay State.

NJ recommits to technology-based economic development

New Jersey, long considered a state-leader in technology-based economic development prior to the Great Recession, has committed to reinvesting in its innovation economy. In addition to the legislature overwhelmingly approving a bill to reconvene the New Jersey Commission on Science and Technology — the state’s primary technology-based economic development organization — Gov. Phil Murphy also announced several other initiatives to support innovation and entrepreneurship in the state.

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.

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.

Policymakers leverage public libraries to promote innovation

For hundreds of years, libraries have helped drive American innovation by serving as a trusted resource and providing information to a wide range of individuals. As libraries continue to implement their own initiatives in this space, policymakers across the country have recently turned to them as a way to level the playing field around workforce development and entrepreneurial support.

Council, governor request nearly $40 million to support Wyoming’s economic growth, diversification

The executive council of ENDOW, an economic development initiative started by Wyoming governor Matt Mead, has announced its preliminary recommendations to diversify and grow the state’s economy, including statewide programs to support tech-based economic development that total more than $36 million. Notable among the recommendations are $6 million for a proposed Wyoming Research and Innovation Fund that provides matching funds as a way to leverage federal R&D opportunities and $5 million to develop a new organization called Startup:Wyoming, which would administer the Fund and provide support to entrepreneurs throughout the state.

Newly elected governors support innovation strategies

The innovation economy is a featured component of both newly elected governors’ agendas, with each showing support for TBED-related initiatives in their platforms. In New Jersey, Governor-elect Phil Murphy (D) has pledged to reclaim the state’s innovation economy while in Virginia Governor-elect Ralph Northam (D) proposed a new workforce development plan focused on “the new-collar jobs of the 21st century.”

Maine voters approve $50 million in tech: Why it matters to all of us

Maine voters approved a special referendum on June 13 that will issue $50 million in bonds to fund investment in research, development and commercialization in the state’s seven targeted technology sectors. The Maine Technology Institute will distribute $45 million of the funds for infrastructure, equipment and technology upgrades. The remaining $5 million will be used to recapitalize the Small Enterprise Growth Fund to create jobs and economic growth by lending to or investing in qualifying small businesses.

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