TOPEKA, Kansas (AP) – Kansas senators have approved a bill authorizing the state to issue an additional $202 million in bonds for a new biodefense lab in Manhattan.
The Senate voted 32-8 on Wednesday despite concerns from conservative Republicans that the state couldn’t afford the additional investment.
Gov. Sam Brownback says the bonds will complete the state’s financial obligation to the federal government to build the National Bio- and Agro-Defense Facility at Kansas State University.
The lab would research dangerous animal diseases and replace an aging facility on Plum Island, N.Y. Its projected cost has more than doubled to $1.15 billion since Kansas landed it in 2009.
Kansas previously authorized $105 million in bonds for the lab. President Barack Obama’s latest budget proposal includes $714 million for the project.