A Kansas House committee has approved $200 million in additional bonds for NBAF, the federal lab under construction in Manhattan. The governor had requested the extra money. President Obama put money in his budget plan to build the National Bio-and Agro-Defense Facility, but it’s not certain whether Congress will approve it. Even though the House Appropriations Committee approved the extra funds, the deal between the feds and the state wasn't concrete enough for some lawmakers, including Representative Mark Hutton, a Wichita Republican.
The committee eventually approved the proposal after a briefing from the governor's chief of staff. But committee members added language to prevent the bonds from being issued unless the federal government pays its share of the construction costs. That was a move supported by Representative Gene Suellentrop (SULLEN-trop), another Republican from Wichita.
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.