Educational system Ingle’s top priority

December 31, 2012 • Local News

State Sen. Stuart Ingle (Courtesy Photo)

In 2013, Sen. Stuart Ingle, R-Portales, hopes to have more success with a bill he’s been trying to pass for nearly a decade.

The bill would prevent universities from raising tuition for students using scholarship dollars provided by the state lottery.

Ingle said the lottery scholarship program has helped more than 60,000 students, but it may run out of money because schools have increased tuition so much.

For example, if a student starts attending a university in [auth] 2012, his or her tuition should remain the same, regardless of the school’s potential tuition increases.

Ingle said he has proposed the bill for several years, only for it to be killed.

“If we had adopted it seven or eight years ago when I first proposed it, we’d have a heck of a lot of money in the lottery,” he said. “We’ll try it again this year and hopefully, that’ll help the lottery scholarship system last a little longer.”

Ingle said he and other lawmakers also are looking at issues affecting funding for the retirement programs of public employees.

“The money is flowing out way faster than it’s coming in,” he said. “We need to make some changes in how revenue is coming in and going out. We have to make sure we have enough to make retirement programs solid.

“The way the federal government is working, Social Security won’t last as long as it should.”

Another issue Ingle hopes to resolve is lax regulations of driver’s license issuance. He said driver’s licenses are being given to people without much verification of the person’s identity.

Ingle, who has been a senator for almost 30 years, said he also will continue to work with other lawmakers to pass more laws that will help and encourage businesses.

“The educational system certainly is the top priority,” he said. “But we’ve got to have a good business climate. Our schools suffer and our universities suffer when the economy suffers.”

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