San Diego City Council Unanimously Rescinds Linkage Fee Increase
The San Diego City Council unanimously voted on March 4th to rescind the “linkage fee” tax increase. At the meeting, Biocom staff and members spoke in support of rescinding this 375 to 750 percent tax increase on businesses planning to build or expand in the City of San Diego.
Supporters of the tax call it a “linkage fee” because of the so-called link between some jobs and subsidized housing paid for by the tax. The Coalition calls it a jobs tax because businesses of all kinds — both large and small, as well as nonprofits, hospitals and private educational institutions — now face an additional tax on all new business development, expansion and some remodeling.
Biocom is a founding member of the JOBS Coalition, which announced in December it would work to overturn a decision approved by a narrow 5-4 majority of the San Diego City Council to significantly increase the jobs tax.
In January, the JOBS Coalition turned in 53,000 signatures it collected in less than 30 days from San Diego voters, signifying significant public opposition to the tax. Once the signatures were verified, the City Council had to either vote to overturn its decision, or put the issue on the ballot for voters to decide.
Members of the Coalition told the City Council they stand ready to work collaboratively to create a comprehensive plan to fund affordable housing in San Diego. Council Member Myrtle Cole asked Coalition members and affordable housing advocates to work together to bring a compromise to the City's Land Use and Housing Committee within three months.
Biocom thanks the Council for rescinding its previous action.
Biocom Associate Director of Local Govt and Regulatory Affairs Melanie Nally testifies before the City Council regarding the linkage fee.
President’s Budget Would Undermine Biomedical Innovation
4, President Obama released his budget request for Fiscal
Year 2015. The President pledged to invest in innovation and highlighted
new investments in the BRAIN
Initiative launched last year. The budget request also calls for making the
Research & Development tax credit permanent and extending the advanced
biofuels tax credit, which Biocom strongly supports.
However, several of the proposed policies would constitute a considerable setback and may very likely slow down innovation. Below are some of the most concerning proposals:
- reducing Medicare Part B reimbursements by 3 percent;
- imposing Medicaid-style rebates on the Medicare Part D prescription drug program;
- lowering data exclusivities for biologics from 12 to 7 years;
- prohibiting drug patent settlement agreements;
- strengthening the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB).
The President also continues to oppose a repeal of the medical device excise tax, which has already resulted in employment reductions of approximately 14,000 industry workers, according to a recent AdvaMed survey.
Biocom is actively working to ensure that Congress and the Administration enact and implement policies that foster innovation, create jobs, and support patients’ access to breakthrough treatments and cures.
Democratic House Leadership Member has Dialogue with Biocom Members
On February 21, Biocom was pleased to host House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer and Congressman Scott Peters for a legislative roundtable with Biocom members. Biocom legislative roundtables bring elected officials to our members for an opportunity for candid but casual dialogue.
Congressman Hoyer (D-Maryland, 5th Dist) is the number two Democrat in House of Representatives leadership, making him one of the most powerful people in Congress. Congressman Peters (D-CA, 52nd District) is a freshman member currently serving on the Armed Services Committee as well as the Science, Space, & Technology Committee.
Congressman Hoyer emphasized his support for adequate NIH funding, stating that cuts to NIH funding do not make sense because they impact the growing businesses the economy desperately needs. Congressman Peters added that he is committed to an increase in NIH funding, stating that he would be working with Congresswoman Susan Davis (who will be a leader in this effort) to make it a reality.
Congressman Hoyer also addressed sequestration and the debt limit, and expressed hope that going forward these issues could be dealt with in a way that would not adversely affect the industry or the agencies that regulate it.
Finally, Congressman Hoyer addressed the need for Southern California, and specifically San Diego, to be represented on the Energy and Commerce Committee (currently there is no San Diego representative on this committee, which has jurisdiction over most of the issues affecting the life science industry, including oversight of the FDA). With the announced retirement of Congressman Henry Waxman, Congressman Hoyer stated that, given his district and the industries Congressman Peters represents, he thought Mr. Peters would be one of a short list of logical candidates for a slot on the committee.
Biocom thanks Congressmen Hoyer and Peters for taking the time to talk to our members.
Biocom Participates in AdvaMed Fly-In in Washington, D.C.
On February 26 and 27, Biocom joined medical technology and life science organizations from California and all across the country to advocate for the medical device industry, as part of the Advanced Medical Technology Association (AdvaMed) State Medical Technology Alliance (SMTA) Fly-In.
Biocom met with California Representatives and their staff to discuss the role of the medical device industry in San Diego, underscore the importance of a well-funded and functioning FDA, and request additional NIH funding. Biocom also urged Members to ensure that FDA user fees are not sequestered in the future and to repeal the medical device excise tax, which has resulted in employment reductions of approximately 14,000 industry workers and foregone hiring of 19,000 workers nationwide, according to a recent AdvaMed survey.
Congressman Scott Peters (D-San Diego) offered remarks during the event, underlining the critical role the medical device industry plays in generating economic growth, creating high-paying jobs, and giving patients access to life-saving and life-enhancing treatments.
Congressman Scott Peters (D-CA 52) addresses AdvaMed fly-in attendees
Reception: Meet The Staffers Who Represent Your Elected Officials
The Biocom PAC once again brings you its Annual Legislative Staff Appreciation Reception, sponsored by SDG&E, on Wednesday evening, March 12. This is your opportunity to meet local legislative staff from all levels of government in a relaxed environment, educate them about the industry, and develop relationships which can prove helpful to your company in the future.
This event is one unique to Biocom, of which we are quite proud. Please join us for an evening of wonderful food, conversation and networking as we thank the hard working staffers to our local elected officials.
Location: Seasons 52 Restaurant, UTC (adjacent to Sears)
Date: Wed, Mar 12, 5-7pm
4505 La Jolla Village Drive
Please RSVP by Monday, March 10, 2014, 5:00 p.m.