New Mexico War Veteran Scholarship, Amendment 1 (2010)

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The New Mexico War Veteran Scholarship, also known as SB 136, appeared as a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment on the November 2, 2010 statewide ballot in New Mexico, where it was approved. Approveda Since the measure passed, resident tuition eligibility would be granted to veterans of U.S. armed forces in the state's higher education institutions. The sponsor of the measure was William Payne.[1]

Election results

See also: 2010 ballot measure election results

Official election results follow:

Amendment 1 (War Veteran Scholarship)
ResultVotesPercentage
Approveda Yes 408,467 77.4%
No119,04322.6%

Results via New Mexico Secretary of State.

Text of measure

The ballot read as follows:

Proposing an amendment to Article 9, Section 14 of the Constitution of New Mexico to permit the establishment of a college scholarship program for New Mexico military war veterans.

[ ] For

[ ] Against[2]

Summary

According to the final version of the measure, the summary of the act read:[3]

An act relating to the higher education; providing resident tuition eligibility for veterans of the Unites States Armed forces at New Mexico Institutions of higher education.

Constitutional changes

New Mexico War Veteran Scholarship, Constitutional text changes

The measure was proposed to amend Section 14, Article 9 of the New Mexico Constitution.[3]

Election costs

The fiscal implications of having the measure on the New Mexico ballot, according to the state fiscal impact report, read:[4]

The appropriation of $350 thousand contained in this bill is a recurring expense to the electronic voting system revolving fund. Any unexpended or unencumbered balance remaining at the end of fiscal year 2012 shall revert to the electronic voting system revolving fund. The electronic voting system revolving fund has no ongoing revenue source and cannot support a recurring expense. If the bill passes, the fund will be at about $40 thousand.
SB136 would require the Secretary of State to provide at least one voting system at each polling location. Currently, statute requires the county commissioners to purchase voting systems. However, when 1.9.7.1 NMSA 1978 was enacted requiring paper ballot voting systems, the state purchased those systems. Since the purchase of the systems did not follow statute, there has been disagreement over who should have ownership and pay maintenance cost on the paper ballot voting systems. While this bill seems to address those issues, it would impact the general fund only if new voting systems are purchased but certainly for annual maintenance costs on the paper ballot systems, which according to this bill is $350 thousand, annually. Although not necessarily required annually, there are potential future year costs for all hardware, software, firmware upgrades, which could reach another $250 thousand per year.

Support

Arguments

  • In an argument suggested by the New Mexico Legislative Council Service, proponents argued that the amendment existed for veterans of the Vietnam War, and that the same should be given to recent veterans.[5]

Opposition

Arguments

Media endorsements

See also: Endorsements of New Mexico ballot measures, 2010

Support

  • The Valencia County News Bulletin, in an editorial stated about the measure, "The cost to the state will be small, and it is only fair to provide veterans of the two gulf wars, Afghanistan, and Bosnia-Herzegovina the same benefits as Vietnam vets. The News-Bulletin recommends a yes vote."[6]

Path to the ballot

The senate bill was first introduced to the New Mexico State Senate on January 21, 2009, where it was approved with a vote of 38-0 on February 21, 2009. According to Article XIX of the New Mexico Constitution, it takes a majority vote of all members of both houses of the New Mexico State Legislature to refer a proposed amendment to the ballot. New Mexico is one of ten states that allows a referred amendment to go on the ballot after a majority vote in one session of the state's legislature.

See also

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