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Grant Fund for Biotech Companies on Wisconsin's Legislative Agenda

October 05, 2011

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is the latest governor to call a special session focused on economic development proposals he says will create jobs (see the Sept. 7, 2011 issue of the Digest). Gov. Walker issued the executive order last week, calling it a "Back to Work Wisconsin" special session.

Among the proposals lawmakers will consider is the creation of a grant fund to provide capital for biotech companies by allocating and reinvesting a portion of the growth in income taxes from the bioscience industry into new tech firms. The Next Generation Jobs Act (LRB 2861) creates both a reserve fund and a 12-member board to make the grants, issue loans, and make direct investments in bioscience businesses headquartered in Wisconsin. The fund would be capped at $50 million annually and $500 million over the 15-year life of the program.

A similar bill recently was passed in Missouri called the Missouri Science and Innovation Reinvestment Act (MOSIRA). However, language in the bill would prevent it from taking effect if lawmakers fail to pass a larger economic development incentives bill, reports the Kansas City Business Journal. Lawmakers are expected to vote on the measure today.

Wisconsin's agenda also includes AB 20, which would make the state's early stage and seed and angel tax credits refundable and AB 90, allowing certain tax credits to be converted to entrepreneurial tax credits.

Another bill (AB 97) increases by $400,000 each fiscal year funding for grants to technical colleges for training in advanced manufacturing beginning in the 2011-12 school year.

View the governor's press release at: http://www.wisgov.state.wi.us/journal_media_detail.asp?locid=177&prid=6026.

Missouri, Wisconsinbio, workforce, higher ed, manufacturing, tax credits, capital