Saturday, 2:15 PM
$1 billion life science bill emerges from House
By Globe Staff
Legislative leaders released the hard details of a $1 billion plan to fund life sciences today, nearly 10 months after Governor Deval Patrick unveiled the proposal to great fanfare at the BIO 2007 International Convention.
House Speaker Salvatore F. DiMasi said in a statement that the bill embraces the key elements of Patrick’s 10-year plan and expands state grant funding and programs to train top scientists and researchers in Massachusetts. It includes $500 million in bonding for capital investments, $250 million in direct research grants, and $250 million in tax credits.
The bill “boldly carries forward the vision” outlined by the governor last May and will have “an immediate, direct impact on creating good jobs and growing our economy,” DiMasi said in a statement. “Massachusetts is a world leader in the life sciences industry, and this investment will help keep us there for years to come.”
Patrick had voiced concern in recent months that the proposal had stalled and was costing the state jobs. Some critics of the governor's plan had said that his proposal lacked specifics.
Last May, Patrick unveiled the $1 billion plan to fund scientific research as part of an effort to bolster the state's reputation as a global powerhouse of medicine and biotechnology. He was joined on the stage at BIO 2007 International Convention by DiMasi and Senate President Therese Murray.
The details of the bill that DiMasi released today include:
-$90 million to promote the work of professor Craig Mello, the Nobel laureate, at an RNAi Center at the University of Massachusetts.
-$95 million to create a life sciences center at UMass–Amherst.
-$12.6 million to help a planned expansion of Wyeth Pharmaceuticals in Andover.
-$12.6 million for the construction an exit on Interstate 93 in Andover, Wilmington, and Tewksbury.
-$12.9 million to Framingham for improvements to infrastructure for water and waste material for a proposed cell culture manufacturing facility and purification plant.
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