Kansas Senate committee considers bill to put bioscience agency under Department of Commerce

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TOPEKA, Kansas — A Kansas agency that nurtures biosciences companies would be abolished under a bill being considered by a legislative panel.

The Senate Ways and Means Committee had a hearing Monday on a bill to transfer the Kansas Bioscience Authority's functions to the state Department of Commerce.

The authority distributes research grants and invests in Kansas-based life startup companies.

The governor has recommended providing $13 million for the bioscience agency and other related research initiatives for the fiscal year beginning July 1.

Former state Budget Director Steve Anderson testified in favor of the bill and said the state should not compete with private investors.

The executives of several companies that have received funding from the authority testified against the bill. They said it would force some tech startups to leave the state.

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