AG Both Pleased, Concerned With New Budget

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - The budget state lawmakers approved over the weekend is getting high marks from Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt.

In a statement Monday, Schmidt says the budget includes two projects requested by the Kansas Bureau of Investigation - a new crime lab on the Washburn University campus and a new Child Victims Unit.

The lab will replace the aging facility at the KBI's headquarters in Topeka. The old lab is located in the basement of what is a converted school building.

“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.”

Lawmakers approved the KBI Child Victims Unit last year. Schmidt says it will provide specially-trained investigators to solve crimes against children throughout the state, particularly sex crimes.

“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.”

However, Schmidt said the budget isn't all good news. He says it cuts the KBI's operating budget. He says he and KBI officials will be examining the exact impact of those cuts in the months ahead.


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