If the Legislature ever has money to finance a matching fund for charitable contributions to higher education, the process may already be in place.

Sen. Lyle Hillyard, R-Logan, presented SB112 to the Senate Education Committee Friday, proposing a matching fund that would allow universities and colleges to double the effect of gifts.The senator had wanted to ask for $10 million to establish the fund, which would generate interest to match locally generated money. With no prospects of getting the money, he went ahead with a bill that sets up a mechanism to distribute money among the nine universities and colleges.

No single institution could be given more than 20 percent of the money for any given year, ensuring that the small colleges would have equal access, Hillyard said. The State Board of Regents would review applications and the institution would have up to four years to collect its half of the money. The institutions could not use either direct or indirect funds to finance any portion of an endowment.