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Senate Committee Consider Bonds For Bio-Defense Facility

Associated Press - April 25, 2013 12:33 pm

Kansas State University campus

A site in Manhattan, near the Kansas State University campus, has been cleared for construction of the biosecurity lab.

A Kansas Senate committee has introduced a bill authorizing an additional $202 million in bonds to help finance construction of a federal biosecurity lab in Manhattan.

The Senate Ways and Means Committee scheduled a hearing on the proposal Thursday. The full Legislature reconvenes May 8 to wrap up the year’s business.

President Barack Obama’s proposed federal budget includes $714 million to build the National Bio- and Agro-Defense Facility at Kansas State University. The installation would replace an aging lab on Plum Island, N.Y.

The project’s total cost is $1.15 billion, and Kansas already has issued $105 million in bonds to help finance the construction of a central utility plant to serve the laboratory.

The lab will study animal diseases and develop measures to protect the nation’s food supply.