Bioscience restored to Colorado cleantech funding bill
The bioscience industry has been added back into a bill in the Legislature to provide new funding to the Colorado cleantech industry, setting up that growing sector of the economy to receive as much as $2 million a year in additional state money.
Senate Bill 47 — sponsored by state Sen. Rollie Heath, D-Boulder — would take 50 percent of the growth of future income tax withholdings from the bioscience and clean-tech industries and put them to two funds to be used to provide seed money for those sectors.
It is the first time in Colorado that tax revenue from the growth of specific industries will be used to pay to help them to grow more.
When the bill passed the Senate on a largely party-line vote — only one Republican supported it and just one Democrat opposed it — bioscience was removed from the bill because of concerns that the industry receives enough state funding already. About $5.25 million in gambling tax revenue goes to bioscience from a bill that was passed five years ago.
But cosponsoring Rep. Cheri Gerou, R-Evergreen, said she saw no reason why an industry that has grown even through the recession shouldn’t get state support for growing jobs even further. She added bioscience back into the bill during Wednesday’s hearing in the House Business and Economic Development Committee with little opposition, saying its earlier removal by the Senate was “a mistake.”
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