In May of 2007, Governor Patrick unveiled a $1.25 billion life sciences package. This life sciences package involves $1 billion in state funding over 10 years, some borrowed through bond issues, plus $250 million in matching money from private business. The money would provide grants for university and hospital scientists, establish special research centers, and train workers for biotechnology businesses while also establishing a stem cell bank in Massachusetts. The Governor’s proposed bill amends Chapter 23A to create a new Life Sciences Sector Investment Program, which allows life sciences businesses to apply to the Department of Business Development for certification as a “certified life sciences project,” eligible for certain tax incentives. Further, the bill seeks to expand the purposes of the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center Fund to include: providing fellowships and grants, providing for workforce training grants to prepare individuals for life sciences careers; and allowing funds to be spent in furtherance of the purposes set forth in the act.

Additionally, in October of 2007, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health rescinded Romney-era regulations viewed by the research community as restricting embryonic stem cell research in the Commonwealth.

Contact for IASCR: Melissa Lopes, Deputy General Counsel, Massachusetts Department of Public Health