State News Roundup

News Roundup | May 3, 2012

Wyoming plans to spend $7 million nationwide on tourism marketing to promote itself to potential tourists. While gas prices remain high (the national average is $3.803 per gallon of regular) the state still expects a large tourist season. Last year alone the tourism industry generated $2.8 billion and nearly 30,000 jobs for the state. With the Wyoming Office of Tourism Director Diane Shober estimating the same level of turnout this year, it is sure to be a relief to the state’s economy. Wyoming currently is projecting no budget deficit for FY2012 and ran a modest deficit of $140 million last year, leaving it ranked number 33 on a list of states in debt.

North Carolina received some mixed news yesterday as it slides from the number two spot on the list of Best/Worst States for Businesses according to Chief Executive. While its GDP is up 0.12 percent, unemployment remains above the national average at 9.9 percent.  However, the state’s ranking is still considered high as a result of its taxation and regulation policies, workforce quality, and living environment all receiving 4-5 stars.  Additionally, the state still projects to run a budget surplus this year and plans to use the 1 percent surplus of its $19.7 billion budget to close a shortfall in Medicaid this year.

SpaceX, a private contractor for NASA, is currently preparing for a May 7th launch in Cape Canaveral Florida, after multiple delays have pushed the project back. While normal contracts would allow for those expenses to be passed on to NASA, the contract with SpaceX will not. NASA used a fixed-price contract when hiring the private firm, which meant that costs associated with new designs, reworkings and delays are taken by the vendor. At the moment, Elon Musk, SpaceX’s founder is said to have put nearly $100 million of his own money into the project. Still, the project’s ambitious goals of space exploration and eventually reaching Mars are sure to provide ample opportunity in the Cape Canaveral area, as well at their headquarters in California.

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