The following is an excerpt from an article that originally appeared in the Boston Business Journal on April 26, 2023.
Gov. Maura Healey, speaking to life sciences leaders Tuesday, affirmed her commitment to growing that industry, emphasizing the need to make Massachusetts more competitive for both businesses and residents alike.
The address, given at a conference at the Royal Sonesta in Cambridge, was hosted by the lobbying group Massachusetts Biotechnology Association, or MassBio. It spotlighted the commonwealth’s life sciences ecosystem as representatives on Beacon Hill began deliberations on the House’s $56.2 billion state budget bill for fiscal year 2024.
Both the House and Healey’s budget proposals for next year include spending intended to boost workforce development in the state’s life sciences sector.
“I know other states, other cities are on our heels, are just right there, looking to catch up, if not blow by us,” Healey said. “And that’s why we have to take steps right now to make sure that our economy 10 years from now continues to be the global leader when it comes to life sciences.”
Healey also used the platform to promote her agenda to increase the state’s economic competitiveness and ease the cost burden on residents. Increasing the state’s housing supply and making housing more affordable, she said, was key to supporting a workforce that would keep industries such as life sciences thriving.
“One of the reasons that we are so focused on housing is because we’re not looking for excuses for people to leave,” she told MassBio CEO Kendalle Burlin O’Connell in a Q&A following her speech. “There’s so much to commend Massachusetts [for], but if people can’t afford it, the calculus just doesn’t work. So we’ve got to really drive up housing production and make things like housing more affordable, and [make] childcare more affordable.”