WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Senate today passed S. 432, the Minority Serving Institutions Digital and Wireless Technology Opportunity Act of 2005, by unanimous consent. The bill, which was originally approved by the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Commitee on April 14, 2005, was introduced by Senator George Allen (R-Va.) and was cosponsored by 15 Senators, including Commerce Committee members Senators John McCain (R-Ariz.), Trent Lott (R-Miss.), Mark Pryor (D-Ark.), Conrad Burns (R-Mont.), Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Tex.), and Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.).
The bill provides $250 million in federal grants to Historically Black Colleges and Universities, tribal colleges, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian serving institutions, and Hispanic-Serving Institutions for technology upgrades and communications infrastructure. Additionally, the grants can be used to provide education services for technology degrees and educator training, as well as to encourage greater use of information technology to increase scientific, mathematical, engineering, and technology research.
There were no amendments offered on the Senate floor.