Budget provides for new Topeka crime lab

(File) In this Wednesday, April 17, 2013 photo, Kyle Smith, deputy director of the Kansas Bureau of Investigation, discusses its plans for obtaining a new, $55 million lab as he shows off an existing KBI lab, in Topeka, Kan. Kyle is surrounded by equipment used by the KBI to analyze samples of biological material. (AP Photo/John Milburn)
(File) In this Wednesday, April 17, 2013 photo, Kyle Smith, deputy director of the Kansas Bureau of Investigation, discusses its plans for obtaining a new, $55 million lab as he shows off an existing KBI lab, in Topeka, Kan. Kyle is surrounded by equipment used by the KBI to analyze samples of biological material. (AP Photo/John Milburn)

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TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The budget approved by Kansas lawmakers over the weekend includes funding for two priorities of the Kansas Bureau of Investigation.

KBI officials have been working for years to secure funding for a new crime lab in Topeka. The current lab is housed in the converted basement of an old school that was built in 1928.

The new state budget includes up to $3.5 million to plan and design a $55 million lab at Washburn University in Topeka. Washburn will build the facility and recover the costs by leasing it back to the KBI.

Lawmakers also voted to complete the funding for a new KBI Child Victims Unit that was established last year.

Attorney General Derek Schmidt says the unit will focus especially on investigating sex crimes against children.

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