House approves tapping into permanent fund

Posted at: 02/28/2013 7:15 PM
Updated at: 02/28/2013 9:04 PM
By: The Associated Press

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) - Public education could receive hundreds of millions of additional dollars in the future under a measure approved by the House.
    
The proposed constitutional amendment allows voters to decide whether to prevent a drop in the yearly allocation from the $11 billion Land Grant Permanent Fund. It will provide $550 million next year for public schools and 20 other public institutions, including universities.
    
The proposal keeps the yearly distribution rate at 5.5 percent of the fund's average five-year market value rather than letting it drop to 5 percent starting in July 2016. The change would mean an extra $61 million in the 2017 payout.
    
The measure passed the House on a 36-33 vote Thursday and heads to the Senate.
    
Opponents said future allocations will shrink if more is paid out now.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)