states

$5.5B for R&D in CA among critical state ballot initiatives

With the general election less than one month away, SSTI has reviewed the 120 state ballot initiatives throughout the country for innovation-related issues. Education, redistricting and issues surrounding elections and state budgets are scattered across the country and can affect the future of innovation through funding, talent and political will. Read below for coverage on the initiatives that could have an impact on different segments of the economy and the future of innovation.

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.

NGA offers roadmap for state leaders to build a resilient workforce

After more than a year of research and facing greater disruption to the workforce than imagined at the outset, the National Governors Association (NGA) has released a guide for governors and state policymakers to help build a technologically resilient workforce. Written before the COVID-19 outbreak, the authors of the report attest that trends previously identified will only accelerate, and thus there is even greater urgency for policy transformations that should be implemented as part of a system wide, resilient education and workforce development agenda.

Recent Research: North Carolina’s SBIR/STTR matching program yields results

Since 2005, the One North Carolina Small Business Program has made 423 SBIR/STTR matching awards worth nearly $26 million to more than 250 businesses throughout the state. A new assessment, which updates an earlier report, provides academic rigor to a standard program review. The results indicate that even beyond survey-based attestations to the program’s value, there is a statistically-significant impact of North Carolina’s funding for the competitiveness of recipients.

State budget recovery likely years away, SSTI analysis shows

A new report from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) indicates that the U.S. economy through 2030 will have $8 trillion (as measured in 2019 dollars) less in economic activity than the CBO projected just five months ago.  Combined with SSTI’s recent examination of economic recovery that found it took 20 states at least four years for their economy to recover back to Great Recession levels, the impact on state budgets can be expected to be long lasting. In fact, a new examination by SSTI finds that through FY 2018, 15 states’ general revenue funds had not recovered to FY 2008 levels (as measured in 2018 dollars) based on data collected by the National Association of State Budget Officers (NASBO). For an additional 16 states, it took seven to 10 years to reach FY 2008 levels.

Pew: How states pay for natural disasters in an era of rising costs

A new Pew study sheds light on how states utilize budgeting tools in response to natural disasters. The study identifies five key tools used by states — statewide disaster accounts, rainy day funds, supplemental appropriations, transfer authority, and state agency budgets — and discusses eligibility and restrictions around each.

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.

Resources for small business in dealing with COVID-19

The fallout from COVID-19 is growing as unemployment numbers skyrocket, small businesses are faced with closures, and employers try to protect both their business and employees. A just-released national study conducted by America’s Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) and Thryv Inc.,  found that 69 percent of U.S. small businesses have already experienced a large drop in demand due to the coronavirus pandemic and 60 percent believe demand will continue to decline. States, too, have seen their budget situations take a dramatic turn and universities have had to send students home. Below you will find some of the resources available to businesses and universities in dealing with COVID-19 pressures, as well as new funding opportunities from federal agencies for those seeking assistance. For more information on how states are responding, several organizations are posting daily updates and are referenced below. 

The resources listed are divided into help for small businesses, updates on states' reactions, and federal resources. Please click through on the read more link for a brief synopsis of each resource followed by more information below the bulleted list. 

Pandemic upends states’ legislative sessions

Postposed primary elections, shuttered schools, sheltering in place orders and millions of workers shifting to home offices while others are displaced completely — the COVID-19 pandemic is radically altering the way of life for the country. States, too, are scrambling to respond to the pandemic while dealing with ongoing legislative sessions and budget negotiations. Some of those responses are detailed here.

States launching innovation initiatives across the country

Proving that innovation is appealing to states regardless of their size or political leanings, new initiatives in both Democratic and Republican states, as well as large states like California and small states like Vermont, are driving innovation agendas into action in areas ranging from clean energy and aid for students and colleges, to new venture capital investments and bond financing to support business collaborations with higher education to help translate cutting-edge research into products and companies.

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