The WBBA achieved multiple public affairs and legislative successes at the state level during the 2009 legislative session.
- We were instrumental in the development and passage of 6015, a bill directing the state’s Department of Commerce to review commercialization and innovation in the life sciences and high technology sectors. Commerce would work in partnership with relevant trade associations and other organizations on policy and strategies to advance the innovation economy in Washington.
- We supported the development of a Clean Energy Leadership Council, which Governor Christine Gregoire signed into law on May 4, 2009. The council, a private-public partnership, will provide recommendations for developing a competitive Clean Energy Sector in Washington.
- We were also successful in working to preserve a survivable level of funding for the Life Sciences Discovery Fund (LSDF). Previously, the WBBA and its partners successfully lobbied for passage of the LSDF in 2005, and each legislative session since, have worked with legislators to ensure funding continues.
The WBBA either led or supported several other successful efforts, including:
- Authorization of the LSDF, the biotech and medical device manufacturing tax credit and sales tax deferral, and additional higher education slots for high demand fields
- Reauthorization of the R&D Tax Credit
In addition, we have a number of ongoing public affairs initiatives focused on bringing innovation to reality for life sciences in Washington state.
- The WBBA established the Annual Governor’s Life Sciences Summit, acting as a key driver in the inaugural 2005 summit and have produced a summit in partnership with the governor’s office every year since.
- We continue to cultivate legislative leaders in life sciences. For example, Senator Ed Murray of Seattle and Representative Mark Ericks of Bothell/Canyon Park are life sciences leaders in their districts. In the 2009 session, Sen. Murray championed 6015, while Rep. Mark Ericks pushed for LSDF funding at a level higher than originally proposed in the House budget. We will be expanding our charge to include leaders from other districts across the state, including Spokane and the Tri-Cities.