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Archive for Wednesday, May 7, 2003

Boeing bond bill approved

May 7, 2003

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— Legislators sent Gov. Kathleen Sebelius a bill Tuesday authorizing bonds to help Boeing Co.'s Wichita plant land work on the next generation of aircraft.

The bill, given final approval on a 33-7 Senate vote, allows the state to issue $500 million in bonds to support Boeing Wichita's efforts to secure a major role in building the new 7E7 jetliner. The House had approved the final version Saturday.

Bill Jarrell, lobbyist for Boeing, noted that the legislation had bipartisan support. The Wichita area has lost about 14,000 aviation jobs in the past two years, and officials have said the 7E7 project could involve 4,000 workers at Boeing Wichita.

Jarrell added that for every 1,000 jobs created by Boeing, 2,300 others are generated in the form of suppliers, service providers and basic community needs.

Boeing -- not the state -- would pay off the bonds. Jarrell said Boeing was expected to decide in the next several months which plants in the United States and abroad would be involved in designing, developing, supply parts for and assembling the new aircraft.

Republican Sen. Mark Buhler of Lawrence and Democratic Sen. Anthony Hensley of Topeka both voted in favor of the bill.

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