Resolution: THINK New Mexico Resolution

WHEREAS, the Faculty Senate exercises the faculty's responsibilities for education, care of students, their contributions to the academic excellence of the University, and to an environment in which all members of the campus community are free to learn and communicate, and

WHEREAS, the New Mexico Legislature created the lottery, in part, to fund a full-tuition scholarship to every deserving high school graduate at any public university or community college in New Mexico, and

WHEREAS, the New Mexico Higher Education Department projects the scholarship fund will face an $18 million deficit in 2011, and

WHEREAS, approximately 20 cents of every dollar bet on the lottery goes to pay operating and administrative costs, the fifth highest of 43 states, according to La Fleur’s 2006 World Lottery Almanac, and

WHEREAS, currently only about 24 cents of every dollar bet on the lottery actually go to scholarships, while eleven states have set statutory minimum percentages for beneficiaries between 30 and 35 percent (California, Delaware, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, New Jersey, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania and Tennessee), and

WHEREAS, even small states (New Hampshire, North Dakota, West Virginia and Washington D.C.) returned 30 percent or more of their lottery revenues to their beneficiaries last year, and

WHEREAS, the New Mexico Lottery pays online vendor GTech 8.52 percent of online sales, while comparable states pay between 2.16 percent and 5.10 percent, and

WHEREAS, lottery retailers receive a base commission of 6 percent of every dollar of ticket sales from the New Mexico Lottery, while most states pay their retailers 5 percent, and

WHEREAS, Think New Mexico proposes the “30-percent solution”, by which 30 percent of lottery revenues will be statutorily dedicated to the Lottery Success Scholarship fund, and

WHEREAS, increasing the percentage for scholarships from 24 percent to 30 percent will produce approximately $9 million per year, or enough for 2,500 scholarships,

WHEREAS, Think New Mexico proposes to add language to the current law requiring that at least one of the seven Lottery Board positions be reserved for representative(s) of the higher education community, and

NOW THEREFORE, the Faculty Senate of UNM does hereby endorse legislation that appropriates at least 30 percent of lottery revenues to Lottery Success Scholarships and verbiage that requires at least one Lottery Board member be from the higher education community, as recommended by Think New Mexico.