Mass files life science legislation

Yesterday, Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick proposed life science research legislation that he linkurl:first suggested;http://www.mass.gov/?pageID=pressreleases&agId=Agov3&prModName=gov3pressrelease&prFile=agov3_pr_070508_life_science_initiative.xml in May. When I covered the discussion on this bill linkurl:last month;http://www.the-scientist.com/news/display/53359/ , Governor Patrick's administration was still hammering out the details for the $1 billion, 10 year spending plan, calle

By | July 20, 2007

Yesterday, Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick proposed life science research legislation that he linkurl:first suggested;http://www.mass.gov/?pageID=pressreleases&agId=Agov3&prModName=gov3pressrelease&prFile=agov3_pr_070508_life_science_initiative.xml in May. When I covered the discussion on this bill linkurl:last month;http://www.the-scientist.com/news/display/53359/ , Governor Patrick's administration was still hammering out the details for the $1 billion, 10 year spending plan, called the Life Sciences Initiative. The plan includes funding to build the infrastructure for a stem cell bank, and an RNAi research institute among other projects. With advice from many sides, Patrick made the final touches to the plan, which included solidifying the details about the governance body -- The Massachusetts Life Sciences Institute -- that would oversee spending the research portion of the funds. The legislation indicates that the Institute's board will grow from its current five members to a total of seven, and will be advised by a 10 member committee from the Massachusetts Life Sciences Collaborative. In an interesting side note, reported by the linkurl:Boston Globe;http://www.boston.com/news/local/articles/2007/07/20/patrick_pitches_biotech_plan/, if the bill gets passed, two members of the board, who opposed some kinds of stem cell research, will be booted. Those members were appointed by the former Governor of Massachusetts, Mitt Romney, who opposed stem cell research. The new bill does not address current restrictions on stem cell research put in place in 2005. That legislation contains some last-minute wording inserted by then-Governor Mitt Romney that prohibits the creation of embryos for research, which critics say has created a murky picture of what stem cell biologists can and can't do. The Governor hopes for a speedy passage, and has the support -- in principle -- of the Speaker of the House and Senate President. "We certainly embrace the concepts," says House Speaker Salvatore F. DiMasi in a linkurl:press release;http://www.mass.gov/?pageID=pressreleases&agId=Agov3&prModName=gov3pressrelease&prFile=070719_life_sciences_legislation.xml covering the special session Thursday. "As with any proposal of this magnitude, we must always keep costs and affordability in mind."
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