Archive for Tuesday, May 1, 2012

House budget committee holds back $22 million from Kansas Bioscience Authority

May 1, 2012


— 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.


nanimwe 5 years, 10 months ago

So much for Kansas being a leader in the bioscience industry.

Paul R Getto 5 years, 10 months ago

Kansas and science will move away from each other as time goes by. We need faith, not science.

wastewatcher 5 years, 10 months ago

How much cash does the KBA have sitting idly around? They apparently have more cash than good inveatment opportunities. Check it out.

Bradley Kemp 5 years, 10 months ago

The KBA has tens of millions of dollars more in investment commitments than it has cash on hand.

cowboy 5 years, 10 months ago

More loans and grants for already rich people , Brilliant !

mcallaigh 5 years, 10 months ago

Who are the rich people? Seriously. I want to know.

mcallaigh 5 years, 10 months ago

Who are the rich people? Seriously. I want to know.

Michael LoBurgio 5 years, 10 months ago

Bio-Safety Danger in U.S. Heartland

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS), which is responsible for security at the labs, states that the NBAF will cover the full gamut of diseases, researching “high-consequence biological threats involving human, zoonotic (i.e., transmitted from animals to humans) and foreign animal diseases.”

In 2010, the Government Accountability Office tasked a committee to assess DHS safety and security plans. The results were not encouraging.

The committee found “that the probability of an infection resulting from a laboratory release of FMDv [the highly contagious and often fatal foot-and-mouth virus, which attacks livestock] from the NBAF in Manhattan, Kansas approaches 70% over 50 years, with an economic impact of $9-$50 billion.

” Officials also stated they were “seriously concerned about the current designs which omit redundant HEPA [high efficiency particulate air] filters for reasons of practicality and cost savings. Any facility-design compromises due to budgetary limitations will need to be viewed as inconsistent with the mission of providing a state-of-the-art facility with minimal risk of pathogen escape from containment.”

pti3 5 years, 10 months ago

For a more critical perspective of NBAC see:

And interview with author of Germs Gone Wild, Dr. Kenneth King on KCUR show Up To Date program archives. (Find audio of show at And search for 'Germs Gone Wild' Site page below:

Up to Date - 11/19/2010 Germs Gone Wild a new book Germs Gone Wild: How the Unchecked Development of Domesitc Biodefense Threatens America, writer Kenneth King uncovers what he calls "the culture of deception surrounding hundreds of biodefense labs that have opened since 9/11."

Today guest host Laura Ziegler talks with King about how greed that has driven the development of these labs has counteracted the usual cautionary checks by local governments and universities, who have all been seduced by the corporate stipends that come with turning a blind eye.

Germs Gone Wild, Kenneth King website and links to various pages:

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