elections

State legislatures post election: more united, more divided

The 2018 general election Tuesday proved to be a better day for Republicans in state legislative races across the country than would have been expected based on average losses for a midterm election. That said, it was also a good day, for the most part, for the political parties already in control of the statehouse chambers, regardless of affiliation: more chambers holding elections this year saw the party in control increase its numbers than lose seats.

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.

Congressional elections may shake up federal science, innovation policy

Tuesday’s elections resulted in a Democratic majority in the House, but the changes for the next Congress go far beyond this outcome. Flipping party control means new chairs for every committee in the House; many Senate Republicans in leadership positions are reaching their party’s term limits, yielding new committee seniority; and, retirements and incumbent losses yield further changes. For the bipartisan issues of science and innovation, this shake up will produce new opportunities and uncertainties.

Key ballot initiatives to impact state futures

SSTI has reviewed the ballot initiatives across the country that affect innovation. Several states have energy initiatives on their ballots, while higher education funding is at play in Maine, Montana, New Jersey and Rhode Island. Utah could become only the second state to fund its schools through gas taxes, if a measure there is passed. At the same time, four states have ballot issues addressing redistricting commissions which could have a significant impact on state legislative makeup when lines are redrawn after the 2020 census.

2018 gubernatorial candidates’ positions on TBED

With the close of the primaries, the 36 gubernatorial elections are now taking shape. November’s election will see at least 18 new governors as those seats were term-limited, the incumbent was not seeking reelection, or did not win the primary.  In each of the 36 races, SSTI has reviewed the major party candidates’ positions relating to technology-based economic development and here outlines what those candidates have revealed on topics touching the field.

What the midterms may hold for science and innovation policy

SSTI board member Bruce Mehlman, a former George W. Bush administration official and founder of Mehlman Castagnetti Rosen & Thomas, recently published a midterm election presentation that has been discussed by numerous DC publications. Mehlman included an analysis of the last 10 senatorial midterm elections (see slide 15). The results suggest that incumbent senators of a different party than the president are very likely to win reelection, even in states carried by the president.

Looking Forward: The significance of a near record number of new governors

One year from now, at least one-third of the states will have a new person sitting in the governor’s chair due to the retirement or term-limit of 17 current governors. The number of new governors could be higher than the guaranteed 17 new governors because there are 36 gubernatorial seats up for grabs. For those questioning the import of a large new class of governors, one does not need to look beyond the last two major waves of new governors — 2010 when 26 new governors came into office and 2002 when 20 new governors did — to see the impact that large classes of governors can have not just on their individual states, but the field as a whole.

Election 2016 Updates

NC Gov. Pat McCrory conceded the election to Democrat Roy Cooper on Monday after a recount he requested in Durham County was showing no change in the election results.  Acknowledging that it was a divisive election, Gov.-elect Cooper said, “I know still that there is more that unites us than divides us.”  Cooper will face a Republican super majority in both chambers of the state legislature.

Pew Research Highlights State of American Jobs, Skills

The majority of Americans say new skills and training are critical to their future job success and to remain competitive in changing workplaces, according to a new report issued by the Pew Research Center in association with the Markle Foundation. This was particularly true for individuals working in STEM occupations, where roughly two-thirds of employed adults responded that ongoing training and skills development would be essential to their development.

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