Local governmental bodies have an increasingly significant impact on the health and growth of California’s life sciences sector. To ensure our voice is heard, CLS provides representation and ensures ongoing dialogue between the industry and local elected officials and agencies throughout California on the following current issues:


COVID-19 pandemic dominated the local government landscape for most of 202 and well into 2021.  On March 19th, 2020, Governor Newsom issued his executive order shutting down the state except for essential services. The order limited activity, travel, and business functions to only the most essential needs and went on to define essential activities as necessary for the health and safety of individuals and their families. Specifically, for the life sciences industry, healthcare operations included pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies.

To that end, business is not yet back to normal, but each new day brings us closer to June 15, 2021, the much anticipated date that Governor Newsom has set forth for reopening of California and finding a new normal for our essential and non-essential workforce. CLS continues to monitor state and local activities, vaccines, return to work, new mandates, and health orders on a weekly basis as well as continuing dialogue with local leaders.

Tax Measures

CLS expects to see ordinances as well as future ballot measures in the next election cycle relative to increased taxes on businesses to help bridge the massive budget deficits that local governments are facing because of the COVID-19 pandemic. CLS will work to oppose industry attacks at the local level and support all tax related measures at the state level, again with a focus locally, as they relate to R&D and NOL tax incentives.

San Francisco Gross Receipts Tax

CLS will work to bring industry relief by leveling the playing field and ensuring that the industry is not taxed on pre-commercial funding because of an equity exchange. Currently, the industry is taxed on money that is used for the research and development of therapies that do not result from the commercial sale of a product. The tax penalizes development stage companies as they work to bring therapies to the market and threatens the survival of start-ups that rely on foundation funding and venture capital.

Safe Drug Disposal/Product Stewardship Plans

CLS will work with industry partners to ensure that safe drug disposal and product stewardship plans are adopted and palatable for member companies. CLS expects to see activity in Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Barbara, and Santa Clara Counites.

Bay Area – 2050

Metropolitan Transportation Commission approved a series of strategies to be included in the Plan Bay Area 2050 blueprint. Plan Bay Area 2050 identifies strategies for investment and policies intended to meet Bay Area environmental and development targets. Those strategies in turn can shape local policies as officials try to meet certain environmental, infrastructure, or housing goals. CLS will monitor activity on the issue(s) accordingly.