[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]
[SANET-MG] Missouri funds pharm crop center
It would have made more sense to fund a center for organic agriculture!
Missouri funds for agricultural pharmaceutical center draw fire
By Virginia Young
Post-Dispatch Jefferson City Bureau
Wednesday, May. 04 2005
JEFFERSON CITY - Some Democrats are questioning a late addition to the state
budget that would funnel more than $1 million next year toward
an agricultural pharmaceutical center in northwestern Missouri.
A state board would issue bonds to build the $30 million Center of
in Maryville, Mo. Anchoring the project would be California-based Ventria
Bioscience, which has genetically engineered rice seeds to produce human
proteins for use in drugs.
House-Senate negotiators slipped the project's funding into the state's
billion operating budget on Monday. The Legislature passed half the budget
bills Wednesday and is expected to sign off on the rest - including the
bioscience center funding - today.
Rep. Rachel Storch, D-St. Louis, said the bioscience center needed more
scrutiny than the brief presentation that budget negotiators received.
there is still "much controversy" about whether Ventria's production of
genetically modified rice could harm Missouri's rice farmers.
"In this budget climate, where we're making slash-and-burn cuts in
think we need to act cautiously before we hand out corporate subsidies,"
Under the plan, state taxpayers would spend $1.1 million a year for 15
help cover the center's debt. The federal government and private local
would be expected to pay the rest.
House-Senate negotiators usually discuss only items approved by at least one
chamber. But the bioscience center was on neither list; it surfaced for the
first time Monday, allowing no public input.
It did have an inside track: It would be in the district of House Budget
Chairman Brad Lager, R-Maryville.
Lager said in an interview that he pulled no special strings. He said the
project has been in the planning stages for months at the Department of
Economic Development and Northwest Missouri State University. The center
be on the university's campus.
The planners recently decided to ask the Missouri Development Finance
float the bonds and to lease the building to the state. That spurred the
request for general revenue to help pay the construction cost.
"It has nothing to do with me being budget chair," Lager said. "This is
an economic development piece."
Ventria plans to move its headquarters to Missouri from Sacramento,
David Klindt, R-Bethany, told budget negotiators Monday that four additional
high-tech companies are expected to move into the bioscience center
years, generating 226 high-paying jobs.
"We're at a point where we have to invest in our future," Klindt said.
Reporter Virginia Young
To unsubscribe from SANET-MG:
1- Visit http://lists.sare.org/archives/sanet-mg.html to unsubscribe or;
2- Send a message to <firstname.lastname@example.org> from the address subscribed to the list. Type "unsubscribe sanet-mg" in the body of the message.
Visit the SANET-MG archives at: http://lists.sare.org/archives/sanet-mg.html
For more information on grants and other resources available through the SARE program, please visit http://www.sare.org.