Neufeld Criticized For Bioscience Board Nomination

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TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) _ Former House Speaker Melvin Neufeld is defending his decision late last year to name himself to a key board overseeing the state's biotechnology industry.

The Ingalls Republican set a precedent in December when he nominated himself to the Kansas Bioscience Authority's board.

He did it shortly before giving up his appointment powers as House leader.

Now, he's working on legislation that would give the Legislature greater power over the independent body's spending.

He said both his bill and his nomination are intended to remove political influence from the bioscience authority and other agencies in state government that support job creation.

He also says neither move is linked to his claims that the authority is biased in favor of the University of Kansas and against Wichita State University.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)