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.

Republican Gains in State Legislatures, Governorships Lead to Increase in One-Party Governments

With about 82 percent of all U.S. state legislative seats up for election on Tuesday, Republicans took control of 11 chambers previously held by Democrats, according to the National Council of State Legislatures (NCSL). As of Wednesday, state legislative chambers stood at 68 Republican and 30 Democrat, with Nebraska’s unicameral legislature as non-partisan.

TBED Ballot Issues, Bond Proposals Fare Well in Midterm Elections

In case you missed it, the midterm elections were on Tuesday, resulting in Republicans taking control of Congress, several new governors, and five states endorsing minimum wage increases.

Ballot Preview: Voters to Decide on Taxes, GMOs, Higher Ed

On November 4, 42 states will vote on 146 ballot issues across a wide array of issues. In addition to initiatives on gun control, bear baiting, and the minimum wage, several initiatives relevant to the TBED community are also up for decision. SSTI has gathered information on many of these and will discuss their results after next week’s elections.

Crowdfunding Exemptions, Tax Credits Among Capital Programs Passed by State Policymakers

Several states announced new or expansions to existing capital programs during the 2014 legislative session. The proposals targeted increasing the availability of venture/risk capital for job creation and establishing or expanding angel tax credits to spur investment in targeted sectors. Nebraska lawmakers allocated $50,000 to support and increase venture capital in the state. In Minnesota, Gov. Mark Dayton extended the state’s Angel Tax credit for two more years and added additional funds.

To continue the growing trend of intrastate crowdfunding, six states passed exemptions including Alabama, Indiana, Maine, Maryland, Tennessee, and Washington.

Lawmakers Tackle Workforce, STEM and Higher Ed Policy

Addressing accessibility, affordability and ensuring workforce preparedness topped legislators’ agendas in many states during the 2014 sessions. States and regions are increasingly competing for talent as the trend toward growing and nurturing innovation ecosystems continues.

States, Metros Turning to Ballot Initiatives to Strengthen Economies, According to Brookings

A growing number of states and localities, stymied by conventional budgetary processes, are seeking financial support for economic development initiatives through alternative means, according to a new report from the Brookings Institution. Many regions are instead turning to legislative referendums and citizen-driven ballot initiatives to support large-scale economic initiatives. Authors Jessica A. Lee, Mark Muro and Bruce Katz offer several recent examples of state innovation, education and infrastructure projects funded through ballot measures.

Candidates for NJ Governor Lack Specifics in Jobs Plans

In contrast to last week's coverage of the Virginia gubernatorial candidates on issues that affect jobs and the economy, there are little specifics on the topic provided by either New Jersey candidate. Incumbent Gov.

Two Vying for Virginia Gov’s Office Tout Benefits of Biotech, STEM Workers

Only two states will hold gubernatorial elections this year: New Jersey and Virginia. But those states have garnered a great deal of media attention because of the candidates’ stark policy differences on a wide range of issues, including jobs and the economy. This week, SSTI takes a look at the plans for economic growth and higher education put forth by Virginia Democratic nominee Terry McAuliffe and Republican nominee Ken Cuccinelli.

Congressional Science Committees Due For Post-Election Shake-up

Congressional elections earlier this week did not change control of the U.S. House of Representatives or Senate, however, science committees in both houses are set for significant turnover, according to the American Association for the Advancement of Science. The House Committee on Science, Space and Technology is slated to lose ten members, one-quarter of its membership, and is expected to gain a new chairperson.


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