It's not difficult to see why Connecticut's bioscience sector has a great deal of support in the General Assembly.
Bioscience offers a range of good jobs—from the laborers who perform the complex sheet metal work needed to build lab work stations to the recent college grads who land jobs in clinical trial administration and laboratory regulatory compliance.
And for those with advanced degrees in biology, chemistry, statistics, and mathematics, the bioscience sector offers employment in cutting-edge research and development.
Bioscience jobs pay well, too.
The average salary is $95,000, and it's unlikely the work will be outsourced. Consider that each lab vent hood is unique to the laboratory where it's located and must be built on site.
It seems like each year the General Assembly takes action to study bioscience economic development. This year is no exception, with at least four study-related bills proposed.
- SB 442 requires the state Department of Economic and Community Development prepare an overview of its economic development programs.
- SB 446 requires the development of a bioscience strategic plan.
- HB 5273 calls for an overview of the state's economic development issues.
- HB 5275 calls for a study of bioscience-related issues.
Connecticut needs bioscience jobs because they make sense for our well-educated workforce and are logical replacements for lower value-added jobs—those that are increasingly being outsourced to states and countries where costs, including labor, are lower.
But as valuable as metrics and study can be, what spurs investment in bioscience is well understood.
First, state lawmakers must fundamentally reform Connecticut's budgetary process and fiscal outlook.
That helps businesses of all types and sizes, and builds confidence in bioscience investors, entrepreneurs, and start-up biotechs to invest and innovate right here.
Unfortunately, there's a widespread perception that Connecticut's budgetary and fiscal woes over the next 10 to 15 years will mean higher taxes and declining services.
Without budgetary and fiscal reform, there are no resources to implement any meaningful economic development, such as research and development incentives and transportation.
Apart from economic stability, two bioscience-specific bills before the General Assembly would boost the industry's growth in Connecticut.
Without budgetary and fiscal reform, there are no resources to implement meaningful economic development, such as research and development incentives.
Because we have so few venture capital firms in the state, this exemption would have no statistically significant impact on our budget.
However, it would draw venture capitalists into our state and, with them, their companies, employees and tax revenue.
SB 197 allows the sale of biosimilar biologics in Connecticut. These generic versions of complex, large molecule medicines—generally given by infusion rather than in pill form, like the rheumatoid arthritis drug Humira—save patients huge amounts in reduced costs.
In addition, manufacture of biologics is a growing industry we would be wise to root here in Connecticut.