Politico: Baker’s legislative bucket list

May 17, 2022

By Lisa Kashinsky, Politico

Originally published by Politico on May 17, 2022

— CHALLENGE ACCEPTED: Gov. Charlie Baker, Rep. Richard Neal, UMass President Marty Meehan and MassBio CEO Joe Boncore gathered at the UMass Club yesterday with top politicians and higher education and life sciences officials, including Sen. Ed Markey, Rep. Jake Auchincloss and state House Speaker Ron Mariano, to start plotting their bid to make Massachusetts the headquarters for the Biden administration’s new biomedical research agency, ARPA-H.

The Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health, which is modeled after the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, is designed to “support leading edge research in medical science, physical sciences and computational sciences,” Baker told Playbook. “There’s really no place else in the country that has a really deep bench in all three of those areas than Massachusetts.”

The competition could be fierce. States are already readying bids. Auchincloss told Playbook “we’ve got members of Congress of both parties who are going to be maneuvering for their states.” While Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra will be the “primary decision maker,” Auchincloss said, the White House is “another locus where we need to have influence.”

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