Kansas GOP conservatives balk at more bonds for lab

FILE - In this Nov. 17, 2010, file photo, a sign marks the future home of the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility on the Kansas State University campus in Manhattan, Kan. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner, File)
FILE - In this Nov. 17, 2010, file photo, a sign marks the future home of the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility on the Kansas State University campus in Manhattan, Kan. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner, File)

TOPEKA, Kansas (AP) – Conservative Republican senators are pushing back at Gov. Sam Brownback’s request that Kansas issue $202 million more in bonds to help finance construction of a federal biosecurity lab in Manhattan.

Members of the Senate Ways and Means Committee heard the pitch Thursday from Landon Fulmer, the governor’s chief of staff. He said the bonding request represented the last money that Kansas would have to contribute to building the $1.15 billion National Bio- and Agro-Defense Facility at Kansas State University.

President Barack Obama’s proposed federal budget includes $714 million to build the laboratory.

But GOP senators express concern that Kansas can’t afford to increase its share of funding, asking if there is any way to negotiate a better financial arrangement.

Kansas has already issued $105 million in bonds for the project.

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