Governor calls for balanced reforms to save scholarships

ALBUQUERQUE (AP) – Gov. Susana Martinez has vetoed legislation that would have allowed for unclaimed prize money to be transferred to New Mexico’s lottery tuition fund.

Lawmakers failed to address the solvency of the lottery scholarship program during the recent 30-day session. They did approve the unclaimed prizes measure, saying it had the potential to boost the fund by more than $2 million but that’s not enough to close the funding gap.

In her veto message, the governor said she supported the spirit of the legislation but that signing it would result in less money for lottery officials to invest in new games and offer higher payouts that could increase revenue for the scholarships.

As in other states, New Mexico lottery revenues haven’t kept up with tuition increases and demand for financial aid.

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