Capitol Report – February 11, 2020

Capitol Report – February 11, 2020


At the Roundhouse this week, New Mexico lawmakers began debate on Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham’s proposal for tuition-free college.

The governor’s initiative was originally estimated to cost 35 million dollars, but the new revamped version of the proposal, which will now be phased in, comes in at 45 million.

Tom Trowbridge reports:

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Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham this week announced that her
New Mexico Opportunity Scholarship will move forward as a “middle-dollar” scholarship, covering the tuition and fee gap remaining after the application of the Lottery Scholarship and other state grants to ensure coverage of 100 percent of tuition and fees. Sponsored by Las Vegas Representative Tomás Salazar, House Bill 14 had its first hearing before the House Education Committee on Monday.  Committee members received positive feedback on the bill from University of New Mexico President Garnett Stokes.

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Also testifying in favor was New Mexico State University at Carlsbad President John Gratton. Gratton is the past president of the New Mexico Association of Community Colleges.

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To be implemented in two phases, the Opportunity Scholarship will cover two-year college for both recent high school graduates and returning adults in year one and expand to additionally cover four-year bachelor’s degree programs for recent high school graduates in year two. The House Education Committee approved the bill with bi-partisan support. 

For the New Mexico News Network, I’m Tom Trowbridge

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