The Jackson Laboratory

An artist's rendering of The Jackson Laboratory for Genomic Medicine, which is proposed for the University of Connecticut Health Center campus in Farmington. (September 25, 2011)

He added, "This governor, whether you like it or not, is elected.''

In Florida, the state had at least three deals that were more costly than the Jackson deal here, he said.

But Sen. Joseph Markley, a conservative Republican from Southington, said the Senate should not be voting on a deal that it does not have full knowledge of.

"I don't claim to understand investment strategies,'' he said. "The difference between risky and reckless is a matter of perception.''

He said that he trusts Frantz, who holds an MBA from Dartmouth College, and Suzio, who graduated with a degree in economics with a concentration in finance from the famed Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, the most on financial deals - and they are both against the Jackson deal.

"I'm not confident that I know the trajectory of the world enough'' to have confidence that the deal will work, he said.

Senate Majority Leader Martin Looney of New Haven said that state "cannot stand on the sidelines and watch the world go by. ... This is our time. This is our opportunity to do this. Timing is everything in these proposals.''

Looney noted on the Senate floor that Franklin Delano Roosevelt had three vice presidents during his tenure, and the shortest was Harry Truman - who went on to become president.

"Timing is everything,'' Looney said.

He noted that North Carolina had the foresight about 50 years ago to realize that it could no longer rely only on textiles, tobacco and furniture-building to run its economy. As such, the state decided to capitalize on its high-quality universities and decided to build the now-well-known Research Triangle.

Deputy Senate GOP leader Leonard Fasano of North Haven sought unsuccessfully to get the letter of intent between the state and Jackson.

"I was told that I could not have that letter of intent,'' Fasano said on the Senate floor. "The letter of intent sets out the basic framework, and then you do a contract'' with further details.

"I was told you cannot have it because it has trademark protection under FOI. I'm not asking how you raise the mice,'' Fasano said. "I'm asking what is the financial deal?''

At the same time, Fasano received details in writing from Malloy's chief of staff, Timothy F. Bannon, and he publicly thanked Bannon for those answers. But he still had questions remaining. The state will be paying about double the price of a building that size, he said.

"Can they sell the building? The answer, I'm told, is no,'' said Fasano, a lawyer who attended Yale University as an undergraduate. "Yes, I think it is rushed. For us, as legislators, we've known about it for two weeks. For this big a deal, without giving us the details, that's rushed. ... Can they build something that is a showplace as opposed to a research lab? I don't know. What protection do we have if they don't pay the guy who pours the concrete? I'm told there will be some protection - not negotiated yet.''

The bill is officially Senate Bill 1401, known as An Act Establishing The Connecticut Bioscience Collaboration Program.

Speaking last as part of the Senate tradition, Senate President Pro Tempore Donald Williams said, "Doing it six months from now, doing it six years from now, is not acceptable. ... With this legislation, Connecticut is leading and thinking big again. We were a world leader. We were part of the industrial revolution in the 1820s and 1830s. ... Today, we're in the midst of a new revolution, the revolution of advanced technology.''

He noted that the state of Massachusetts has invested $1 billion in bioscience, and Connecticut needs to step forward, too.

"In Florida, they're wondering: how did we lose Jackson Labs?'' Williams said in his wrap-up speech at about 6 p.m. Wednesday. "We have a remarkable opportunity. ... The projection of up to 6,000 direct jobs represents only those with the Jackson development'' and not all of the jobs throughout the state related to bioscience.

While the North is spending money on bioscience, states in the South has spent hundreds of millions of dollars to attract foreign automakers to construct factories for high-end cars.