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Scholarship fund to take another hit

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The Associated Press

SANTA FE — New Mexico’s troubled lottery scholarship fund will be taking another hit, thanks to a recent ruling that will cause the state’s payment from big tobacco companies to be reduced.

The Albuquerque Journal reports that half the money lawmakers had planned to use this year to temporarily shore up the scholarship fund will likely not be forthcoming due to the ruling.

Finance and Administration Secretary Tom Clifford told members of the Legislative Finance Committee on Thursday the ruling could mean $5 million less to plug the scholarship shortfall.

The scholarship fund is already facing a financial crisis due to rising tuition costs and increased demand.

State higher education officials have said scholarships will have to be scaled back as soon as next year if lawmakers don’t find a fix.