It may not have had the symbolic oomph that a ceremony at last week’s BIO International Convention would have had, but Governor Charlie Baker on Friday signed a bill that will pump approximately half a billion dollars into the life sciences industry over five years.
Baker had hoped to sign the bill at BIO, the glitzy four-day industry event that drew more than 16,000 people to the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center. But the state Legislature didn’t finish up work on the package until June 7, the last day of the convention.
So the governor signed the bill Friday at Bunker Hill Community College, which offers an associate’s degree that focuses on biotechnology.
The legislation will provide $473 million worth of capital spending into grants and authorize up to $30 million a year in tax incentives to help the industry. The measure renews much of what began under former governor Deval Patrick in 2008, when lawmakers approved a bill to help the life sciences over 10 years.
Robert Coughlin, president and chief executive of the Massachusetts Biotechnology Council trade group, praised Baker and lawmakers for “concluding that the original life sciences initiative was a valuable investment and agreeing to pass the next phase into law.”
Also joining Baker at the ceremony were Pam Eddinger, president of the community college; Dr. Laurie Glimcher, president of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute; and Bill Sibold, executive vice president and head of Sanofi Genzyme.