Gov. Gregoire’s Baby, $350M Life Sciences Discovery Fund, Faces Possible Shutdown

4/8/09Follow @xconomy

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in her first term to create the Life Sciences Discovery Fund and that she wanted their support again.

“I fundamentally want and believe we can be the epicenter of life sciences and global health,” Gregoire told a room of about 700 people who had gathered Oct. 28 at the Seattle Sheraton for the Washington Biotechnology & Biomedical Association’s annual meeting. “It’s within our reach if we stay focused.”

Gregoire’s first budget proposal in December called for the usual full appropriation for the Life Sciences Discovery Fund, says Pearse Edwards, in an e-mailed statement. Then the state tax revenue forecasts got much worse. Now Gregoire apparently sees the need to cut the biotech fund, although not too deep from the sound of it. “While she recognizes there will be cuts to all programs including the Life Sciences Fund, the Governor wants to make sure that the program has sufficient funding to be positioned to bounce back after the recession and that our return on investments is there for our families, our businesses and our future,” Edwards says.

The WBBA is hoping to see the Senate version prevail, with its $38 million allowance to the Life Sciences Discovery Fund over the next two years, says president Chris Rivera. “In light of some of the other budget limitations, it would be hard to say we shouldn’t contribute” to the cuts, Rivera says. “We all have to contribute, given the state of the economy we’re in.”

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