The fiscal 2012 budget bill being developed in the Kansas Senate contains $55 million of bonds to continue renovation work at the statehouse in Topeka.

The bonds would provide $22 million to replace the building’s copper dome and roof, which leaks, and $13 million to finish a visitors center in the basement.

If the House goes along with the proposal, the bonds would be the 11th tranche issued since 2001 for the project. The Kansas Development Finance Authority has issued $256 million of bonds for the effort, including $39 million of Build America Bonds in 2010.

When first proposed in 2000, the restoration effort was expected to cost between $90 million and $120 million, but lawmakers later expanded the scope to include an underground parking garage, subterranean offices, and repairs to the exterior stonework and the copper dome.

The total project is now estimated at $340 million.

The bond-financed dome repairs are expected to be the final tranche for the project. The Legislature has put a $285 million cap on the statehouse debt.

Kansas statehouse bonds are rated AA by Standard & Poor’s and Aa2 by Moody’s Investors Service.

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