elections

What a second Trump administration might mean for science and innovation

In advance of the Republican National Convention, the Donald Trump reelection campaign released a second term agenda. This plan contains 50 items, most of which are goals (e.g., “Create one million new small businesses”), but some provide insight to more specific policy actions that the administration could pursue.

What Biden proposes for science and innovation

The Democratic Party officially nominated Joe Biden as their candidate for president this week. Despite just taking this first step into the general election, the former vice president has already announced numerous policy proposals. Using statements from the campaign website as a resource, the following is an overview of his science and innovation proposals.

Election results could yield new state policies; TX doubles cancer R&D

Democrats made some gains in Virginia’s Legislature, and in Kentucky, the governor’s seat looks to be turning over to a Democrat, but the current Republican is requesting a recanvass in the close race. If those results hold, Democratic challenger and current Attorney General Andy Beshear will take the seat from incumbent Gov. Matt Bevin, ending the state’s Republican trifecta (where one party holds the governorship and both chambers of the legislature). Mississippi’s gubernatorial seat remained in Republican control, while the gubernatorial election in Louisiana takes place on Nov. 16, and the incumbent Democratic governor there is seeking another term. Following Tuesday’s elections, the divided government in Virginia turned into a Democratic trifecta in Virginia, as Republicans lost their hold in both the House and Senate. Those outcomes and results from several state legislative elections, along with the results of several innovation-related initiatives, are highlighted below.

Several states in play this election cycle for innovation initiatives, gubernatorial and legislative elections

As voters head to the polls next week, some will be deciding the fate of innovation and development-related initiatives, while voters in Kentucky, Louisiana and Mississippi will be voting in gubernatorial elections. The initiatives include a possible additional $3 billion in Texas for cancer research. And in Louisiana, Mississippi, New Jersey and Virginia, legislative chambers are holding regular elections. Those races and initiatives are covered below.

State economic development directors bring varied backgrounds to role

The 20 new governors elected last November are filling out their appointments, and SSTI’s analysis of those named as state economic development directors reveals an array of backgrounds leading into their new roles. New Republican governors have shown a greater propensity to choose a leader with an industry background, while new Democratic governors have been more likely to appoint  directors with economic development experience. From a former U.S.

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.

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