TOPEKA – (June 3, 2013) – Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt today praised the Legislature for including in the budget bill approved over the weekend two important projects requested by the Kansas Bureau of Investigation.
The new budget authorizes construction of a new crime laboratory on the campus of Washburn University. The new laboratory will replace the KBI’s aging headquarters laboratory, which is located in the converted basement of a Depression-era middle school building in Topeka.
“This new laboratory is a critical first step toward improving the KBI’s forensic laboratory services that support every law enforcement agency in Kansas,” Schmidt said. “The partnership with Washburn is fiscally smart and will serve the cause of public safety for decades to come.”
Schmidt also praised the legislature’s decision to complete funding for a new Child Victims Unit at the KBI. The new unit, which was started last year with legislative approval, will fill a critical need by providing specially trained investigators to help solve crimes against children throughout Kansas. A particular focus of the new unit is difficult investigations of sex crimes committed against children.
Both priorities were recommended by Governor Brownback in his budget submission to the Legislature.
“These two initiatives will advance the cause of public safety, which is a core function of state government,” Schmidt said. “The challenge now will be to ensure that we follow through and sustain these projects in the years ahead.”
Schmidt said other aspects of the budget were detrimental to public safety, including cuts to the KBI’s operating budget. Schmidt said he and KBI officials will explain the effects of those operating cuts in the months ahead and will ask the Legislature to reconsider them when it reconvenes in January.