The State Finance Council unanimously approved a request by Bombardier Learjet on Wednesday to allow the company to use the remaining $6 million in bond money that it was granted in 1994, said Dan Lara, a spokesman for the Kansas Department of Commerce.
The money will be used for Bombardier’s Learjet 85 business jet program at its plant at Wichita Mid-Continent Airport. The company has used $27 million of $33 million of the bond money approved in 1994.
No questions or concerns were raised before the vote, Lara said.
Separately, the state will consider an incentives package for expansion of the plant for the Learjet 85. The $52.7 million expansion project means 450 jobs. The state commitment on that package could run between $16 million and $18 million in bonds. City and county officials have already approved their portion of the plan: $1 million each.
It’s the second Bombardier incentives deal on the table with the state in as many years. In mid-2010, Bombardier announced a new Wichita assembly site for the Learjet 85, which created 600 new jobs in exchange for about $27 million in bond financing from the state. The company also agreed not to move any existing operations out of Wichita during the life of the bonds.
The Finance Council, which approved Wednesday’s bond deal, represents the Kansas Legislature when it’s not in session. Lara said last week that his office expects the Finance Council to be asked to approve any potential Bombardier incentives.
The state’s Finance Council consists of nine members, including the governor, speaker of the House, president of the Senate, House and Senate majority and minority leaders and the Ways and Means and Appropriations committee chairs. The governor serves as chairman.