This article is part of the Daily Lobo’s 2019 New Mexico State Legislature coverage.
The first session for the 54th New Mexico Legislature will have its opening day Jan. 15, beginning at noon.
As part of opening day Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham will be giving her first State of the State address and new legislators will be sworn into office.
There are several bills introduced that could directly affect the University of New Mexico community.
The lottery scholarship is up for discussion and vote again this session. Representative Debra Sariñana, sponsored House Bill 146 which proposes the Lottery Scholarship be a full scholarship based on financial need.
To qualify, students need to be a New Mexico resident, maintain a 2.5 GPA, and take 15 credit hours at a four-year institution or 12 credits at a two-year institution. A new provision in the proposed bill would mean students whose family contributes less than 150 percent of the total cost of attendance — as calculated by the financial aid officer of the school — qualify for full tuition as well.
According to a previous Daily Lobo article, for the Fall 2018 and Spring 2019 semesters Lottery Scholarship recipients received $2,294 at research institutions, $1,560 at comprehensive institutions and $581 at community college. A UNM full-time, state resident can expect to pay $3,661 in tuition and fees for Spring 2019.
Also addressing the Lottery Scholarship is Senate Bill 80, sponsored by Senator William Soules. If passed, this bill would allocate unclaimed prize money from the New Mexico lottery to the lottery tuition fund instead of to the prize fund, as it is now.
HB 127 is sponsored by Representative G. Andrés Romero, and if passed, would amend the College Affordability Act, which allots scholarships to eligible students, by raising the maximum money awarded from $1,000 to $1,500. The SB 81 asks for the same amends.
SB 67, sponsored by former Senator Cisco McSorley, proposes a $160,000 appropriation to support the engineering internship program at the UNM board of regents for fiscal year 2020. Any unused money will revert to the general fund at the end of the fiscal year.
Madison Spratto is the news editor at the Daily Lobo. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @Madi_Spratto.