SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Gov. Susana Martinez’s administration said Monday it wants to avoid cuts in a lottery-financed college scholarship program this spring by having the Legislature shore up the program temporarily with general tax revenues.
Higher Education Secretary Jose Garcia said in a letter to colleges and universities that scholarship awards, which fully cover tuition for eligible students, will be reduced if lawmakers fail to plug a financial shortfall in the program. The Legislature convenes in January for a 30-day session.
The administration estimates the Legislature may need to allocate $15 million to $20 million to cover scholarship costs this year.
The lottery will provide about $40 million for the program. However, rising tuition and student demand for scholarships have outstripped growth in lottery revenues since the program was created in 1996.