Kansas senators question bioscience spending at Olathe site

TOPEKA | Members of the state Senate Commerce Committee want to know how much Kansas Bioscience Authority staff members are paid and how much it is spending on its offices in Olathe.

The Wichita Eagle reports the panel questioned KBA president and CEO Tom Thornton on Tuesday. The authority has come under fire after a group of Wichita scientists said KBA has backed away from a promise to give it $20 million over five years.

The KBA says its board never approved that commitment to the scientist group, which is working on a new medical implant industry.

The Legislature created the KBA in 2004 to collect tax money from the health care industry and use it to finance startup bioscience operations.

Thornton's salary is $265,000 a year plus a possible performance bonus.