SD House Ag Committe unanimously approve bill to build bio products lab at SDSU

PIERRE, S.D.(KJJQ)- The House Ag and Natural Resources Committee gives first hearing to a bill that would build a bio products laboratory at the South Dakota State University research park for 28-million dollars. They voted unanimously to send the bill to appropriations.

SDSU President Dunn says they’re seeking $20 million from the state.

The plan for the facility was developed through a one-million dollar appropriation the legislature approved last year. Dunn says that led to the decision to focus on specialty animal feed and bio-based polymers and the plan for the lab.

House Majority Leader Kent Peterson of Salem says this is a legislator-driven idea.

Jeff Lautt is President and Chief Operating Officer of biotechnology firm POET. He says South Dakota is falling behind other states.

The committee voted 11-0 to move the bill to appropriations where it will be one of dozens of proposals fighting for state funding.