Kansas Senate debating $202 million for national biodefense lab

05/14/2013 7:50 AM

05/20/2014 10:44 AM

The Kansas Senate plans to debate Gov. Sam Brownback’s proposal to authorize an additional $202 million for a new, national biodefense lab.

Brownback has said the measure on Tuesday’s agenda in the Senate will fulfill the state’s commitment to fund part of the cost of the National Bio- and Agro-Defense Facility at Kansas State University.

The new lab would research dangerous animal diseases and replacing an aging facility on Plum Island, N.Y. But its projected cost has more than doubled to $1.15 billion since Kansas landed the project in 2009.

Kansas already has authorized $105 million in bonds for the lab, but President Barack Obama’s latest budget proposal includes $714 million for the project.

State officials pursued the project because it promises more than 300 high-paying jobs.

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