Topeka The new leader of the Kansas Bioscience Authority said Tuesday that the recent history of the agency has been shaky, but he urged the committee to reject Gov. Sam Brownback's budget proposal, which would cut funding to the KBA significantly.
Duane Cantrell, was hired in November as president and chief executive officer of the KBA, which invests tax funds in bioscience initiatives.
Brownback's budget proposal would cut KBA funding from $35 million to $10 million.
In previous years, the KBA has been the target of criticism from Brownback, who 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.
On Tuesday, Cantrell told the Senate Ways and Means Committee that the KBA had developed an "entitlement mentality" and that it had been unresponsive in instances.
He said the agency was determined "to earn" back the trust of the Legislature.
He said the KBA, which was established in 2004, has done exemplary work in helping produce high-paying bioscience jobs in Kansas.