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Genomics for Connecticut

Connecticut lawmakers approved a $291 million deal to bring a branch of the Jackson Laboratory to the state, reports the Wall Street Journal. The measure will give the lab a $192 million construction loan at a 1.1 percent interest rate and $99 million in state grants, while the lab will create 300 jobs during the next 10 years. The total budget would be $1.1 billion over 20 years as the lab adds its own $809 million to the pot. The Hartford Courant notes that critics of the deal said it was too expensive, with Republicans pointing out that Jackson Lab, as a nonprofit, will not pay corporate taxes or local property taxes. "I want this bill to be something I can support," says State Representative Sean Williams, a Republican. "But we don't know the terms of this agreement … with so many unanswered questions how can we vote for this?"

The Connecticut expansion plan for the Jackson Lab comes on the heels of a similar endeavor in Florida that fell apart after state funding was no longer possible due to budget constraints, which our sister publication GenomeWeb Daily News reported here. GWDN has more on the current deal here.