Legislation Would Offer Incentives To Keep Biotech Firms in Calif.
On Feb. 4, Assembly member Jerry Hill (D-San Mateo) introduced a bill (AB 1733) that aims to encourage California's biotechnology companies to remain in the state, while offering incentives for outside companies to relocate to California, the San Mateo County Times reports.
Hill said that a report released last week found that two-thirds of the state's biomedical companies expect to increasingly relocate their manufacturing work out of California in the next two years. The report, commissioned partly by the California Healthcare Institute, also found that nearly 60% of biotechnology firms plan to expand their research and development efforts outside of the state.
The bill would offer resources and other support at the state level to encourage companies to remain in California, such as:
- Providing sales tax breaks on manufacturing equipment; and
- Creating business centers with ready-made layouts for biotech companies.
The legislation also would create a new position within the governorâs office, called the Director of California Biotechnology Retention and Recruitment.
According to the bill, the director would serve "as an informal resource" for companies already operating in California "by helping them comply with state and local regulatory requirements." The director also would be active in recruiting out-of-state companies to relocate to California. Funding for the director's position would come from existing state resources, Hill said.
Schwarzeneggerâs Stance on Bill?
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) has not yet given a position on the bill, spokesperson Mike Naple said,. Naple said the governor "typically likes to wait until the bill gets to his desk and he gets a chance to review it" (Gonzales, San Mateo County Times, 2/5).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.