The House Appropriations Committee has approved an amended version of Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback’s proposal to issue more bonds for a federal lab in Manhattan. They delayed a decision Wednesday on the governor's proposal to help fund the National Bio- and Agro-Defense Facility, but after a briefing from Brownback's chief of staff, the committee approved the plan for $200 million in bonds.
Committee members added language to prevent the bonds from being issued unless the federal government pays its share of the more than $1 billion in construction costs. That was a move supported by Representative Gene Suellentrop, a Republican from Wichita.
“We need to figure out their dollar amount, $700 million plus, I think that’s the amount we do an agreement upon. If they match that, if we get to that level, then we’re committed,” said Suellentrop.
The state has already authorized $100 million in bonds for the lab, which will research dangerous animal diseases. Kansas pursued the project because it promises to generate more than 300 high-paying jobs.