KCUR News
3:21 pm
Fri March 11, 2011

Kansas Legislature Wants More Accountability From Kansas Bioscience Authority

 

Kansas City – Salary, expenses, and marketing records reveal excessive spending on the part of the Kansas Bioscience Authority. At least that's what some on the Commerce Committee feel.

The Committee has been holding hearings in recent weeks to address perceptions of fiscal irresponsibility, and has a bill on the Senate floor to put the Secretaries of Commerce and Revenue on the Board of the KBA.

The KBA is an unusual public-private partnership. Initially, it was funded by the state legislature in 2004 with 581 million dollars, to be disbursed over 15 years.

In addition, the legislation - known as the Kansas Economic Growth Act - said taxes from bioscience workers were to be invested in bioscience research and industry.

Matching federal grants and venture capital would supplement the tax income in an effort to make Kansas a leader in the biosciences.

Many legislators have spoken publicly about the success of the KBA after 7 years. But as Laura Ziegler reports, others feel the Commerce Committee hearings have raised too many questions to ignore.