A bill that uses liquor taxes to fund tuition assistance is set to expire next year. If that happens, students will have to dig even deeper into their pockets to pay for schooling. University of New Mexico students planned to raise the issue at the Roundhouse Monday.
Since 2014, 54 percent of New Mexico’s tax on liquor sales has gone towards funding the state’s Lottery Scholarship program. But that funding is set to expire next year unless a renewal bill is introduced this legislative session.
UNM Student President Jenna Hagengruber said getting that renewal won’t be easy—some legislators want the liquor tax to fund DWI prevention programs instead of helping students pay tuition.
“Students are already paying all their fees. Students are paying for books. Students are paying for housing,” she said. “Anything you can give us in the Lottery Scholarship, it’s just helping us be able to pay for ourselves to go to school.”
If Hagengurber does not find a sponsor, students using the lottery scholarship will have to pay over 30 percent more for tuition.
Editor's Note: This story has been edited to make it clear that a bill hasn't yet been introduced to address extending the lottery scholarship funding from liquor taxes.