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Archive for Thursday, February 15, 2007

Sebelius signs bills for biodefense lab

February 15, 2007

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— Gov. Kathleen Sebelius on Wednesday signed into law two measures that officials say will help Kansas' attempts to land a $450 million federal biodefense laboratory.

Leavenworth and Manhattan are two of 18 sites vying for the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility that has been proposed by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

"Our state already has the assets needed to attract the NBAF, and now we've shown our strong support for bringing the lab to Kansas," Sebelius said.

Sebelius signed Senate Bill 252 and House Bill 2303.

The first bill allows the Kansas Board of Regents to transfer 60 acres of land to the federal government if it decides to construct the lab in Manhattan.

The second measure establishes an interagency working group that would help Homeland Security in conducting an environmental impact study of any site in Kansas.

Both bills sailed through the Legislature without dissent.

Last week, U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., told a joint session of the Legislature that winning the federal facility would be "one of the most exciting scientific and economic development opportunities ever to come before the state of Kansas."

The proposed facility would be used to research diseases that affect plants, animals and humans and to develop vaccines.

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