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Maryland Budget Agreement Continues Support for Bio 2020 Initiative

April 28, 2009

The budget agreement passed by Maryland lawmakers earlier this month includes funding for several initiatives in support of Gov. Martin O'Malley's plan to invest more than $1 billion over ten years in Maryland's biotechnology industry. Declining state revenues as a result of the recession were not without their impact, however.

A key component of the Bio 2020 Initiative is the state's investment in stem cell research. To this end, lawmakers approved $15.4 million for the Maryland Stem Cell Research Fund administered by the Maryland Technology Development Corporation (TEDCO).  This appropriation is $2.6 million less than the total funds available in FY09 and $3 million less than the governor's recommendation. TEDCO also will receive the governor's full recommendation of $3.7 million ($600,000 less than last year) for technology development, transfer and commercialization.

The Maryland Biotechnology Investment Tax Credit Reserve Fund received the governor's full request of $6 million in FY10. The program encourages private investment in biotech firms by providing a 50 percent tax credit to investors.

In support of Bio 2020, $4.7 million is included for the Maryland Biotechnology Center to showcase and support biotechnology innovation and entrepreneurship for the state, and $500,000 was approved for the Nanotech Biotechnology Initiative Fund ($1 million less than last fiscal year).

Following the legislature's $16 million higher education appropriation intended to freeze tuition for undergraduates, the Maryland Board of Regents voted last week to approve the measure that will keep tuition level for a fourth consecutive year.

The enrolled version of FY10 operating budget is available at: http://mlis.state.md.us/2009rs/bills/hb/hb0100e.pdf.