Topeka Republicans on the House Appropriations Committee voted Tuesday to block the transfer of $22 million to the Kansas Bioscience Authority.
A motion by state Rep. Barbara Ballard, D-Lawrence, to transfer the funds was defeated along party lines.
"The KBA is extremely important to this state, and we should not be hampering them," Ballard said.
The KBA was established in 2004 and charged with investing approximately $580 million in tax funds in bioscience initiatives. It was the lead agency in the state's effort to win the federal competition for the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility, a bioscience lab which is proposed to built near Kansas State University.
Ballard said failing to transfer the funds for the current fiscal year could jeopardize some of those initiatives, but Republicans on the committee said the KBA would be adequately funded.
Appropriations Chairman Marc Rhoades, R-Newton, said that in the next fiscal year, which starts July 1, the proposed budget bill would fund the KBA with $35 million.
The KBA has been the target of criticism from Gov. Sam Brownback, who initially froze the $22 million dedicated to the agency.
Earlier, Brownback had prodded the KBA to conduct an audit of its financial dealings.
A $1 million audit of the KBA found that the KBA board had handled investments in an acceptable manner, but alleged some questionable expenditures of former KBA president and chief executive officer Tom Thornton, who resigned in 2011.