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Nevada Dips in to Scholarship Funds

Lawmakers in Nevada, looking for alternatives to making cuts to state services, have dipped in to several accounts that were deemed unused funds. Nevada, like other states is experiencing a severe budget shortfall, so twice this year, officials have raided the Millennium Scholarship Trust Fund for money to keep the state afloat.

In June, lawmakers took $7.6 million from the program. This week, lawmakers took $5 million more, shortening the scholarship's longevity by two years. The Legislature's fiscal analysts project the fund now has enough money to see the scholarship through until 2015.

Created in 1999 by then-Gov. Kenny Guinn, the scholarship provides qualifying Nevada high school graduates with $10,000 to attend a state college or university.

"No one wants to shorten the life of the Millennium Scholarship, but when times are desperate ..." said Assemblywoman Sheila Leslie, D-Reno. Leslie said it's likely lawmakers would focus on rebuilding the scholarship fund when the economy recovers.

Many Nevada students rely on this scholarship money and are concerned for the future, but by 2015, the state hopes to be in a better economic position with the scholarship fund intact.

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