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Lottery Scholarship Fund Facing Trouble

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SANTA FE (AP) — Lawmakers and Gov. Susana Martinez may have to consider how to shore up a college scholarship fund that’s bankrolled by the state lottery.

The Legislative Finance Committee reported Wednesday the scholarship fund is projected to run out of money in the next fiscal year, which starts in July 2013.

The Legislature meets in January.

The fund’s cash balances are shrinking as scholarship costs exceed annual lottery revenue, which isn’t keeping pace with student demand for the scholarships and rising tuition costs

If nothing is done, the LFC said scholarships could be limited to the $40 million expected from the lottery but that’s less than the $60 million in scholarships awarded this year. The state can lower the amount of the scholarships to less than the full cost of tuition.

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