House approves tapping into permanent fund

February 28, 2013 • State News

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Public educ[auth] ation could receive hundreds of millions of additional dollars in the future under a measure approved by the House.

The proposed constitutional amendment allows voters to decide whether to prevent a drop in the yearly allocation from the $11 billion Land Grant Permanent Fund. It will provide $550 million next year for public schools and 20 other public institutions, including universities.

The proposal keeps the yearly distribution rate at 5.5 percent of the fund’s average five-year market value rather than letting it drop to 5 percent starting in July 2016. The change would mean an extra $61 million in the 2017 payout.

The measure passed the House on a 36-33 vote Thursday and heads to the Senate.

Opponents said future allocations will shrink if more is paid out now.

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