PA Bio cranks up the pharma and biotech lobbying in Harrisburg

Life sciences companies are like most other organizations and people: They like government when it does things for them and they dislike government when it does not - or taxes them to pay for roads, schools and the rest.

Pennsylvania Bio, the state trade association for the life sciences, is a bit worried about the budget negotiations in Harrisburg, so president and CEO Chris Molineaux called for reinforcements Thursday.

In an email to members, Molineaux urged PA Bio members to contact their favorite legislators to keep their favorite tax breaks in place. The 609 members in the PA Bio directory include pharmaceutical, biotech and medical device companies, but also organizations and companies connected to them, such as insurers, banks and patient advocacy groups. The PA Bio website is here.

Gov. Corbett is a Republican and both houses of the legislature have Republican majorities.

"The staff at Pennsylvania Bio and members of the State Public Policy Committee have been working diligently to advance the life science industry's interest in these tough budget times," Molineaux wrote. "We need the urgent action of our membership right now to protect some very important tax credits that were threatened this week in the House of Representatives."

The bold and underlined type was used by Molineaux.

He continued:

"Unfortunately, the incoming revenues to the Commonwealth continued to lag behind official estimates. This has complicated the budget picture for PA and the work of our legislators. It has also led to the vote on tax credits this week......."

And then:

"This week the leadership of the House GOP introduced an amendment that would put all but a very few tax credits into a two-year hiatus. The tax credits affected are:

  • Research and Development Tax Credit
  • Resource Enhancement and Protection Tax Credit
  • Historic Preservation Incentive Tax Credit
  • Community-based Services Tax Credit
  • Tax Credit For New Jobs
  • Mobile Telecommunications Broadband Investment Tax Credit
  • Innovate in PA Tax Credit
  • Keystone Special Development Zone Program
  • Keystone Innovation Zone Tax Credits
  • Promoting Employment Across Pennsylvania Program and certain sections of the Keystone Opportunity Zone Program.

(The tax credits favored by life sciences companies were boldfaced)

"Pennsylvania Bio and many of our allies worked the phones urging defeat of the amendment," Molineaux wrote. "It was narrowly passed on Monday. The bill containing the two-year hiatus amendment went on to narrowly pass the House on Tuesday....... We are deeply concerned about this bill. You should be as well."