Topeka The state Senate on Wednesday approved legislation designed to increase the number of engineering graduates.
The measure would allocate $4 million next year, and $7 million each year after that from gambling revenues to a fund that could be used by the engineering departments at Kansas University, Kansas State, and Wichita State.
To access these funds, the schools would have to match the money from non-state sources.
The legislation also allows the issuance of up to $195 million in bonds to build and equip engineering facilities at any of the three universities.
The measure has been pushed by Senate leaders, business representatives and higher education officials.
Several senators voiced opposition to the proposal, however, saying the state shouldn't increase debt during the current tough fiscal times. The state faces an estimated $500 million revenue shortfall in the fiscal year that starts July 1.