COLUMBUS, Ohio — A proposal being prepared in the Ohio Senate would convey potentially lucrative land-grant status on a second Ohio university, the historically black Central State University.

Such a move would open up the school to federal money for agriculture research and construction. It comes 122 years after a similar attempt was scuttled by former U.S. President Rutherford B. Hayes, among other Ohio State University board members at the time.

Senate Finance Chairman Chris Widener, a Springfield Republican, says he's been working for months on the plan.

Ohio State University President E. Gordon Gee has expressed support for the idea. Ohio State has been Ohio's only land-grant university since 1870.

Hayes sat on OSU's board after leaving the presidency. He opposed Central State's land-grant status in 1890 citing lack of federal funds.