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Governor Signs Bill Guaranteeing Tuition-Free College

Santa Fe Community College, SFCC
S. Baxter Clinton
Santa Fe Community College, SFCC

This week governor Michelle Lujan Grisham signed the Higher Education Trust Fund Bill securing almost a billion dollars for the education of New Mexicans.

Senator Pete Campos is the sponsor of Senate Bill 159 and Representative Tara Jarmarillo presented the bill to the House for final passage.

“Senate Bill 159 relating to higher education creates the Higher Education Trust Fund and Higher Education Program fund providing an annual distribution from the trust fund to the program fund making a transfer from the Tax Stabilization Reserve to the trust fund.”

This legislation passed the Senate with a vote of 37 -5 and the House 43 - 18

New Mexico now holds the largest higher education trust fund in the nation, with a record $959 million, topping the other 7 states with established higher education trust funds.

New Mexico established the Early Childhood Trust Fund in 2020 through the Land Grant Permanent fund and combined with this Higher Education Trust Fund, the state has a total of 32.4 billion invested in cradle to career education.

Now New Mexico is also the only state with both early childhood and higher education trust funds.

After signing SB159 Governor Lujan Grisham said “By creating this fund, New Mexico is keeping our original promise of tuition-free college for residents and cementing our status as the nation’s leader for college equity and access”

Shantar Baxter Clinton is the hourly News Reporter for KSFR. He’s earned an Associates of the Arts from Bard College at Simons Rock and a Bachelors in journalism with a minor in anthropology from the University of Maine.