The Kansas Senate approved $202 million of state bonds for a national bio-defense laboratory at Kansas State University last week on a voice vote.
The bonds would provide the state’s share of the $1.2 billion National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility at the campus in Manhattan, Kan.
Senate Bill 245 was referred to the House Appropriations Committee, which is scheduled to consider the amended measure this week.
The House committee approved the bond bill May 9, but the Senate committee amended the bill to stipulate that no additional bonds for the facility could be issued without a final construction contract.
The fiscal year 2014 federal budget proposed by President Obama includes $713 million for the laboratory. The federal spending is contingent upon Kansas agreeing to the $202 million of additional bonds.
The 2010 Legislature authorized $105 million of appropriations-backed debt for the state’s 20% match for the laboratory.
In addition to the original bonds, the state also contributed $35 million in research funding for the move of the laboratory to Kansas from Plum Island, N.Y.
The state competed with Texas, North Carolina, and other states for the facility. A 2012 economic analysis said the laboratory will provide 326 permanent jobs with an average annual salary of $77,000. Its benefit to the state is estimated at $3.5 billion over the first 20 years.
It will include two laboratory buildings. Researchers will focus on deadly animal diseases that could threaten the nation’s food supply or that can be easily transferred to humans.