COMMENTARY: Governor Martinez and the New Mexico Legislature,
I urge you not to forget about the importance of higher education and the thousands of hardworking students studying across the state. Show that education is a priority in the state of New Mexico by continuing to allocate funds from the Liquor Excise Tax to preserve the Legislative Lottery Scholarship.
Currently, a portion of the Liquor Excise Tax supplements the Legislative Lottery Scholarship. If an extension of the Liquor Excise Tax funding is not passed, New Mexican students on the Legislative Lottery Scholarship at every public college and university in the state will see their out-of-pocket tuition cost increase by 30 percent.
If the scholarship funding that currently comes from the Liquor Excise Tax is discontinued, students all over the state will be faced with unforeseen financial hardships. Passing an extension is an opportunity for the state to show that it is willing to invest in the future by making education a priority in New Mexico.
As a state, we need to ensure that the cost of tuition is never the barrier that stops a student from pursuing a degree. We need to make investing in our students a top priority, as it is a responsible way to grow the economy of our state.
I urge you, Governor Martinez and the New Mexico Legislature, to keep New Mexico students out of political crossfire. Invest in the future by continuing to allocate funds from the Liquor Excise Tax to the Legislative Lottery Scholarship.
Noah Brooks is president of the Associated Students of the University of New Mexico.