Budget negotiators reject $2 million for KU Institute of Translational Chemical Biology

? A proposal to allocate $2 million in state funding for an effort at Kansas University to help bioscience research and development has been rejected in legislative budget discussions.

“We felt like we needed to review that further,” House Appropriations Committee Chairman Gene Suellentrop, R-Wichita, said Thursday.

House and Senate budget negotiators reached a tentative deal on the final Kansas budget that was expected to be voted on by the full chambers on Friday.

Not included in that budget deal was the proposed Kansas Institute of Translational Chemical Biology.

Gov. Sam Brownback had urged legislators to include the funding during the current wrap-up session, but he didn’t include the proposal in his budget amendment.

Suellentrop said the request for $2 million was an ongoing one for future years, so legislators needed more information before making the commitment.

The funding request also came at a time when April tax receipts totaled $93 million or 15 percent less than what was expected for the month.

Under the proposal, the institute would promote research and drug development and enlist collaborations with pharmaceutical companies.

KU spokesman Tim Caboni said school officials were disappointed that the institute was not included in the budget.

“It would have been good for Kansas and the Kansas economy and would have served as a magnet for outside companies to build and deepen their relationships with the scientists doing outstanding drug discovery work at the university,” Caboni said.

Suellentrop said legislators would likely discuss the issue again during the 2015 legislative session.