In December 2013, The Federal Aviation Administration selected six public entities and set a course that will lead to the development of unmanned aircraft systems and the economic,environmental, safety and security benefits that will accompany this research. Congress mandated the test sites to conduct research into the certification and operational requirements required to safely integrate unmanned aircraft systems into the national airspace over the next several years.

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With its cluster of farming, industry leaders such as DuPont Pioneer and John Deere, and a large land-grant university, central Iowa is already a hub of economic activity centered on agriculture and bioscience. But state, local, business and university leaders believe the region still has much untapped potential.

Their response: Join together on a new Cultivation Corridor initiative, which creates new partnerships among regional leaders in economic development, education and bioscience and aims to market central Iowa as the home of“science that feeds the world.”

If successful, the initiative will also help grow the entire Iowa economy by drawing new investments to the state and attracting and retaining talent and business.

Last week, the White House launched the second round of the Promise Zone Competition – an initiative which invites high-poverty urban, rural and tribal communities to put forward a plan to partner with local business and community leaders to make evidence-based investments that create jobs, leverage private investment, increase economic activity, expand educational opportunities and reduce violent crime. During the first round, five communities were chosen and fifteen more will be designated by 2016.

According to the American-Statesmen, Tesla has picked Nevada as the site for its new $5 billion “gigafactory” battery plant, which will reportedly create 6,500 direct jobs. Tesla's siting search set off a bidding war among a number of states to offer the most enticing location package, including big bucks for tax and financial incentives. According to the Las Vegas Review JournalNevada will offer Tesla state and local tax breaks and credits worth around $1.3 billion. That includes an elimination of all state and local sales and use taxes until June 2034 and a 100 percent abatement of the real property tax, the personal property tax and the modified business tax until June 2024. Nevada does not have a corporate income tax.

In a fiscal environment with much competition for limited state resources, state leaders need the ability to make data-driven policy decisions more than ever before. Increasingly, state leaders are using economic analysis software and data systems to predict economic impacts. Users have used one of those programs, IMPLAN, to estimate the direct, indirect, induced and total impacts of foreign direct investment to their state’s economy including the number of jobs supported, labor income, total value added and tax revenue.

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Since 2010, no U.S. state has come close to matching the population boom in North Dakota. Numbers in that state have jumped by close to 8 percent — more than three times the U.S. average.
“I never thought I would read the words, ‘The highest population growth … was in North Dakota,’” Joel Kotkin said during his keynote speech at the Midwestern Legislative Conference Annual Meeting. “It’s just an astounding statistic.”
The state’s oil and gas boom has largely fueled the recent migration patterns, but in his July presentation to the region’s state and provincial legislators, Kotkin argued that there is also more to the story. A mix of economic, demographic and technological realities has made North Dakota and many other parts of the Midwest more alluring destinations for individuals, families and businesses.
“We’re seeing a demographic shift along with the economic shift,” he said. “People are reconsidering their options. Where are they going to live? Where do they want to be?”
Where are information technology jobs most concentrated? How is automotive job growth shifting across the nation? What areas specialize in businesses related to food processing? This kind of data is now available through a new web-based initiative ( from the U.S. Economic Development Administration and the Harvard Business School.
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Concerned about the economic impact of a proposed fee increase on truck shipments moving across the U.S.-Canada border, the Midwest’s state and provincial legislators are urging the U.S. Department of Agriculture to reconsider the plan.
The Midwestern Legislative Conference adopted the resolution on the final day of its four-day Annual Meeting in Nebraska. It originated from the MLC’s Midwest-Canada Relations Committee, which met on the first day of the meeting.

ANCHORAGE, ALASKA—The future of the country’s economic success appears to be a team effort. “One of the most important keys to our national growth and economic success is supporting a highly trained workforce,” West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin said at CSG’s Policy Academy on Workforce Development, held Aug. 9 at the CSG National and CSG West Annual Conference in Alaska. “Education is the number one qualifier for jobs of today and tomorrow.”

NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that The Council of State Governments urges the U.S. Congress to pass reauthorization of Ex-Im Bank before the current authorization extension expires September, 2014.