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State Panel Authorizes Bonds To Pay For NBAF Construction

edward stojakovic, flickr Creative Commons

A state panel consisting of Gov. Sam Brownback and legislative leaders have agreed to authorize an additional $231 million dollars in bonds to help pay for the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility construction near Manhattan.

The State Finance Council's authorization on Tuesday is contingent on the U.S. Department of Homeland Security agreeing that Kansas won't be asked to pay any more for the facility.

Kansas lawmakers initially authorized $105 million dollars in bonds when the state was awarded the project in 2009.

The Finance Council in November balked at authorizing additional bonds until Congress appropriated money to fund its share of the project.

Congress approved funding for Homeland Security in December that includes $400 million dollars for the remaining federal share of the NBAF project.

"We're going to put these extra funds in," Governor Brownback said Tuesday. "We didn't want to. We didn't want the project to cost more, but we're going to put the extra funds in. But we want to make sure this is it."

The new laboratory is expected to be fully operational by 2022.

It will be used to research dangerous animal-borne diseases and replace an aging research facility at Plum Island, New York.

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