The House Appropriations Committee today (WED) opened hearings on a bill to increase the number of engineering graduates in Kansas. The legislation would provide state funding to help universities grow their engineering programs. The bill has passed the Senate but previously stalled in the House. Ed McKechnie (muh-KECK-nee) is vice chair of the Kansas Board of Regents. He told the committee that engineering firms in the state have trouble finding qualified workers.
The goal is to boost the state economy by growing engineering firms and attracting new firms to the state. Some lawmakers questioned if the students would leave Kansas after graduating and if the funding could come from other university departments, rather than the state.