NPR in Kansas City
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
Government
In 2005, the Department of Homeland Security announced plans to replace the old Plum Island Animal Disease Center off Long Island with a facility on the U.S. mainland to study Foot and Mouth Disease and other dangerous pathogens. Kansas won the job in 2008, with a site on the campus of Kansas State University in Manhattan.But today, more than three years later, the proposed $1.14 billion National Bio- and Agro-Defense Facility faces funding obstacles, safety questions, rising costs and political fallout. For Kansas and the Midwest, the stakes couldn’t be higher.Here you’ll find coverage and updates from Harvest Public Media, KCUR and Kansas Public Media.

Kansas House Committee Approves NBAF Bonds

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.

KCUR serves the Kansas City region with essential news and information.
Your donation today keeps local journalism strong.