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.

More State Governments To Align Along Party Lines Following 2012 Elections

Earlier this week, 11 U.S. states (and Puerto Rico) held gubernatorial elections, and 44 states held elections for at least one house of their state legislative body. As a result, five states elected new governors, as did Puerto Rico. Partisan control of state legislatures changed in nine states. The results indicate a growing trend toward state governments unified under a single political party.

Voters Reject Tax Increases, Back Bonds for Higher Ed

While election night's main focus was on the presidential race, the importance of ballot measures for states and metros is growing as public services and budgets are being severely trimmed. A recent article in The New Republic reports on a new trend where states are embracing ballot measures as a potential source of dedicated funds for targeted investments in regional economic growth and development.

TBED and the 2012 Ballots

Voters in 37 states will decide on more than 170 ballot measures this year, many of which are related to tech-based economic development (TBED). Tax measures seem to be dominating ballots this year, with questions relating to both decreases and increases for sales, property and income taxes. Several states are counting on voters to agree to temporary increases to help fill budget deficits and ensure steady funding for education.

Gubernatorial Candidates Make the Case for TBED

On November 6, in addition to the presidential election, eleven state and two territorial gubernatorial contests will be decided. Seven of these races (Delaware, Missouri, North Dakota, Puerto Rico, Utah, Vermont, and West Virginia) include a sitting governor running for re-election, while the remaining six (American Samoa, Indiana, Montana, New Hampshire, North Carolina and Washington) are open races.

Presidential Election Will Shape U.S. Innovation Strategy

Though innovation and entrepreneurship was notably absent from Wednesday's presidential debate on domestic policy, presidential candidates Mitt Romney and Barack Obama have acknowledged the importance of technological innovation in stimulating the economy and bolstering U.S. competitive capabilities in the global economy.

Election Results: Higher Ed Financing Measures Pass in LA, TX

Louisiana and Texas voters approved measures to provide funding sources for student loans while voters in Colorado rejected a measure that would have temporarily increased taxes to offset cuts for public schools and colleges. Meanwhile, Ohio voters repealed a bill passed earlier this year limiting collective-bargaining rights of state employees. Official results are outlined below:

Governors' Races and Ballot Preview 2011

In what is considered typical for an odd-numbered year, only 34 questions have been certified in nine statewide ballots this election year. Some of those measures include redirecting funds to support higher education, revenue enhancements for states, and repealing legislation that limits collective bargaining for public employees.

Ballot Initiatives

State Legislatures Shift Right, Sweeping Proposals Expected

Legislative control will shift from Democratic to Republican majority in eleven states and Republicans now control the legislature and governor's office of 20 states, up from nine, after adding more than 675 seats in last week's midterm elections, reports the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL). The GOP gained control in one or both chambers in the following states: Alabama, Colorado, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.


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