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New Mexico's lottery scholarship program faces uncertainty after lawmakers don't take action


SANTA FE, New Mexico — The New Mexico Legislature's failure to bolster the state's Legislative Lottery Scholarship program's financial underpinnings has students and higher education institutions bracing for cutbacks.

The Santa Fe New Mexican ( ) reports that the lack of action during the legislative session that ended Saturday spells trouble for the in-state tuition assistance for university and college students.

The lottery scholarship fund is currently about $40 million. According to legislators and lottery officials, annual demand tops $60 million.

Republican Rep. Jason Harper of Rio Rancho said the amount of assistance could drop into the "upper 80 percent range" of full tuition costs.

Democratic Sen. John Arthur Smith of Deming said lawmakers will take another stab at the problem next year.

Harper and Smith each sponsored bills to revamp the program.

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