NBAF funding reduced, work on project delayed

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Funding was cut for the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility from the Congressional budget on Monday. President Barack Obama requested that the project be reevaluated by the Department of Homeland Security due to budget concerns.

The total cost of the facility was projected at approximately $650 million, which would have been funded through various sources. In the current budget for fiscal year 2012, however, Congress has designated $50 million for the facility, one-third of the $150 million dollars requested by the Obama administration.

According to the White House, the allocated money is insufficient to begin construction. Currently, the site near K-State has been cleared.

Obama also requested that research be increased at K-State’s Biosecurity Research Institute. He requested an allocation of $10 million for the research.

The budget plan called for the development of a program to educate local residents and livestock producers about the research and safety measures that are in place.

Despite concerns about the safety of the facility, Kansas Governor Sam Brownback has remained confident about the future of NBAF. In an Associated Press article released on Monday, he said that securing funding for the research facility will be a top priority for the Kansas delegation.

The facility was estimated to provide more than 300 jobs with an average salary and benefits of more than $75,000. The facility, if cleared for funding, will replace the previous national research site in Plum Island, N.Y. Government officials have currently cited 2018 as the estimated year of completion.

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