APLegislators moving to issue bonds for biodefense lab

TOPEKA | Legislators want to authorize $105 million in bonds for infrastructure improvements to attract a national biodefense laboratory.

Kansas is competing with Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina and Texas for the $451 million National Bio- and Agro-Defense Facility. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security wants to replace an aging laboratory on Plum Island, N.Y.

The bonds would be used to buy land, upgrade roads, install a security fence and build a utility plant. Bond payments would be $8.2 million a year for 20 years.

The Senate Ways and Means Committee has endorsed the plan. State officials estimate the new lab would represent a $1.5 billion benefit to the Kansas economy.