• Become an SSTI Member

    As the most comprehensive resource available for those involved in technology-based economic development, SSTI offers the services that are needed to help build tech-based economies.  Learn more about membership...

  • Subscribe to the SSTI Weekly Digest

    Each week, the SSTI Weekly Digest delivers the latest breaking news and expert analysis of critical issues affecting the tech-based economic development community. Subscribe today!

Legislative Wrap-Up II: MA, MN, NJ Dedicate Funds for S&T

July 27, 2011

Recent legislative actions supporting technology-based economic development include level funding for the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center, funding to support programs of the Minnesota Science and Technology Authority and the expansion of two state programs in support of technology and life sciences companies in New Jersey.

The Massachusetts Life Sciences Center, a quasi-public agency charged with implementing the state's 10-year, $1 billion Life Sciences Initiative, will receive $10 million in FY12, the same as last year. The appropriation is contingent upon a consolidated net surplus for FY11. The center has so far committed $217 million in state funds, leveraged more than $710 million in additional outside investment, and created a projected 7,000 jobs, according to the agency.

The full budget can be viewed at www.mass.gov/gaa.

Gov. Mark Dayton last week signed a series of budget bills for the 2012-13 biennium, effectively ending an impasse that lead to a state government shutdown lasting nearly three weeks. Lawmakers included $714,000 over the biennium for the Minnesota Science and Technology Authority, created in 2010 to stimulate innovation and encourage investment in new technology products, companies, industries and jobs. Of this amount, $500,000 is appropriated for a commercialization fund, internship program, a business and entrepreneurial acceleration program, and to enhance federal liaison support. Due to the budget constraints, only one or two programs will be launched, however. Supporters of the authority advocated for $25 million annually, saying that amount is necessary for the state to grow businesses, reports Finance & Commerce. An earlier version of a bill would have allocated $1.5 million annually in 2011-12 and 2012-13, and $3.5 million annually in 2013-14 and 2015-16.

The BioBusiness Alliance of Minnesota will receive $356,000 in the first year of the biennium to create, recruit, retain and expand biobusiness activity. This is down from $500,000 each fiscal year approved in the previous biennium. A competitive grant pilot program is established in the second year of the biennium with $1.1 million in total funding for business development assistance and services including bioscience business development and entrepreneur development, among others.

View the budget documents: http://www.house.leg.state.mn.us/ss2011/.

New Jersey
Two state programs supporting the technology and life sciences industries recently were expanded in New Jersey as part of the FY12 budget and separate legislation approved during the 2011 legislative session. The FY12 budget signed into law by Gov. Chris Christie increases available funds from $30 million to $60 million through the innovative Technology Business Tax Certificate Transfer Program. This restores full funding to the program, which was reduced the previous year to help fill a budget deficit. The program allows qualified biotechnology and technology companies to sell unused net operating losses and R&D tax credits to unrelated profitable corporations for at least 80 percent of their value.

Additionally, S.2980 increases the state's R&D tax credit to 100 percent and will be phased in over the next two years. Previously, R&D spending in New Jersey was used to offset up to 50 percent of corporate tax liability. The new law will allow R&D spending in the state to be used to offset all of the corporate tax liability. Both proposals were among Gov. Christie's priorities for the legislative session (see the March 2, 2011 issue of the Digest).

The FY12 budget is available at: http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/2010/BILLS/S4000/4000_I1.pdf.

Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jerseystate tbed