FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – On Tuesday congressman Jim Costa and higher-education leaders announced the introduction of a bill that would help designated “Regional Public Universities” develop stronger communities.

Congressman Costa and Dr. Saúl Jiménez-Sandoval, president of Fresno State highlighted the impact these public schools have on the community’s growth, not only in agriculture but also in sectors like real estate, infrastructure, education, health services, and research to determine the needs of Valley’s residents.

“For far too long, these institutions have been left behind from receiving critical funding. As an alumnus and former Fresno State Bulldog, I am proud to introduce this groundbreaking legislation that could provide significant investments to bolster our regional economy and build new opportunities for Valley residents to thrive.”

-Congressman Jim Costa

If approved, the Build Act will allow federal funds between $25-50M to aid public higher-education institutions in low-income districts with economic and community development projects as well as strengthen the workforce in the San Joaquin Valley.

Up to 174 public 4-year universities would benefit from this bill including Fresno State, Cal State, Los Angeles, San Diego State, and Cal Poly Pomona.