BOISE, Idaho (AP) — House lawmakers are recommending that a series of state funded higher education scholarships be consolidated. A bill approved by the House Wednesday on a 43-24 vote eliminates a merit-based scholarship and a program for minorities.

Money from those awards instead would be deposited into the Opportunity Scholarship, which resident students seeking to attend an Idaho's public, private or community college. Twin Falls Republican Rep. Lance Clow said the changes help streamline programs without reducing state funding. The proposal also makes more need-based aid available to disadvantaged students and repeals a loan forgiveness program for teachers and nurses.

Boise Democrat Rep. Mat Erpelding was among the detractors, arguing the loan forgiveness option is important to attracting nurses and teachers to rural hospitals and schools. The measure now goes to the governor.