ALBUQUERQUE – Representative Smith introduced HB 147 today, which is estimated to provide an additional $25 million in scholarship funding for students over the next five years. The Lottery transferred $37.8 million to the scholarship fund in fiscal year 2017, which equates to paying sixty percent (60%) of a student’s tuition bill. A similar bill has been introduced in each of the prior three legislative sessions by Senator John Arthur Smith. It is very important the lottery continues to meet with and inform key constituents regarding legislation that impacts scholarship transfers.
The bill guarantees students a minimum of $38 million each year for the scholarship program which is a $200,000 increase over last year’s transfer. The bill includes a sunset provision that requires the lottery to return to the thirty percent (30%) mandate if scholarship proceeds fall below the $38 million floor.
By alleviating the mandate, the Lottery will be able to put more prizes in games, in turn increasing sales and thus increasing dollars raised for students.
The bill is a win for students and is like a bill passed in Oklahoma last June which repealed their mandated return. Oklahoma anticipates an additional $110 million in transfers over the next five years.
The mandate repeal in Oklahoma has been so successful that it is exceeding previous fiscal year estimates. So far, this fiscal year, they’ve seen a sixty percent (60%) increase in Scratcher sales and a forty percent (40%) increase in transfers.
Legislative Lottery Scholarships
All profits from the sale of New Mexico Lottery games fund an in-state college tuition assistance program. Since 1996, the New Mexico Lottery has raised $755.2 million for education and more than 116,000 students have attended college on Legislative Lottery Scholarships. More information about Legislative Lottery Scholarships is available at www.nmlottery.com.
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