SENATE BILL 147
54th legislature - STATE OF NEW MEXICO - second session, 2020
Cliff R. Pirtle
RELATING TO HIGHER EDUCATION; ENACTING THE VOCATIONAL TRAINING SCHOLARSHIP ACT; MAKING AN APPROPRIATION.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF NEW MEXICO:
SECTION 1. [NEW MATERIAL] SHORT TITLE.--This act may be cited as the "Vocational Training Scholarship Act".
SECTION 2. [NEW MATERIAL] DEFINITIONS.--As used in the Vocational Training Scholarship Act:
A. "community college" means a branch community college of a four-year state educational institution, a two-year state educational institution or a community college or technical and vocational institute established pursuant to Chapter 21, Article 13 or 16 NMSA 1978, respectively;
B. "department" means the higher education department;
C. "fund" means the vocational training scholarship fund;
D. "program semesters" means those semesters for which a student may receive a tuition scholarship;
E. "tuition scholarship" means the scholarship that provides tuition assistance per program semester for a student enrolled in a vocational training program at a community college; and
F. "vocational training programs" means career technical education courses offered at a community college.
SECTION 3. [NEW MATERIAL] TUITION SCHOLARSHIPS AUTHORIZED--STUDENTS.--
A. To the extent that funds are made available by the legislature from the fund, the board of regents or governing bodies of community colleges shall award tuition scholarships in department-approved amounts to students attending vocational training programs at their respective community colleges.
B. A tuition scholarship may be awarded to a student who:
(1) has completed tenth grade;
(2) had a cumulative grade point average of 2.0 or higher on a scale of 4.0 in ninth and tenth grades;
(3) has earned a high school equivalency credential;
(4) maintains residency in New Mexico; and
(5) completes any other requirements required by the respective community college.
C. The residency requirement in Paragraph (4) of Subsection B of this section notwithstanding, a New Mexico resident who had to leave the state to receive an education pursuant to the federal Individuals With Disabilities Education Act shall be eligible for a tuition scholarship if the student otherwise meets the qualifications for a tuition scholarship pursuant to this act.
SECTION 4. [NEW MATERIAL] TUITION SCHOLARSHIP AMOUNT.--
A. Based on the amount appropriated by the legislature from the fund and on the projected enrollment in vocational training programs at all community colleges, the department shall:
(1) determine the total amount of money available for all tuition scholarships;
(2) determine the award amount for each community college; and
(3) notify all community colleges of the determinations made pursuant to Paragraphs (1) and (2) of this subsection.
B. In determining distribution and award amounts for the tuition scholarship program, the department shall:
(1) distribute to all participating community colleges an amount not to exceed the balance in the fund; and
(2) subject to the provisions of Paragraph (1) of this subsection, distribute to each community college an amount based on the projected enrollment at that community college of students enrolled in vocational training programs in their first through fourth program semesters.
C. If the total amount available pursuant to Paragraph (1) of Subsection A of this section is less than the amount available in the fund, the department shall decrease the scholarship award amounts in a manner that maintains as equal as possible the percentage of unpaid tuition for students enrolled in vocational training programs in community colleges.
SECTION 5. [NEW MATERIAL] FUND--CREATED.--The "vocational training scholarship fund" is created as a nonreverting fund in the state treasury. The fund consists of appropriations, gifts, grants, donations and income from investment of the fund. The department shall administer the fund and, subject to appropriation by the legislature, shall provide tuition scholarships. Expenditures from the fund shall be by warrant of the secretary of finance and administration pursuant to vouchers signed by the secretary of higher education or the secretary's authorized representative.
SECTION 6. APPROPRIATION.--Two million five hundred fifty thousand dollars ($2,550,000) is appropriated from the general fund to the vocational training scholarship fund for expenditure in fiscal year 2021 and subsequent fiscal years to carry out the provisions of the Vocational Training Scholarship Act. Any unexpended or unencumbered balance remaining at the end of a fiscal year shall not revert to the general fund.
SECTION 7. EFFECTIVE DATE.--The effective date of the provisions of this act is July 1, 2020.
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