Panel OKs temporary fix for lottery scholarship

Posted at: 02/15/2013 11:17 AM
By: BARRY MASSEY Associated Press

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) - A Senate committee has approved a proposal to temporarily shore up a lottery-financed college scholarship program that soon won't have enough money to cover the full cost of tuition for eligible New Mexico students.

A bill by Senate Majority Leader Michael Sanchez cleared the Education Committee on Friday. It will tap into new sources of money, including tobacco settlement revenue, to keep the scholarship program solvent for the next three years while lawmakers look for a permanent solution to the financial problems.

Lottery revenue isn't keeping pace with rising tuition costs and student demand for scholarships. The program is projected to have a deficit of $16 million next year. If nothing is done by lawmakers, the state will need to lower scholarships to less than the cost of tuition.

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