March 8, 2005
It's anyone's guess as to the reality of a 4/1 budget...but it would appear that the Governor and the Legislative Leaders are at least attempting to stake out positions and work toward the development of a "budget" in the upcoming weeks.
We believe that higher education and SUNY remain a priority in the Senate and Assembly. Both Senator LaValle and Assemblyman Canestrari voiced their strong support for SUNY's $85 million request and increasing base aid for the community colleges, as well as an increase in rental aid (made back up to 50%). But not before TAP is made whole...along with opportunity programs (EOP, HEOP, SEEK). We should also expect some form of capital projects to be included with the legislature looking at their list of projects vetoed by the Governor last year. That leaves some child care issues related to TANF funding and the overall SUNY Tuition Guarantee Program and the role of tuition in the final 2005-06 SUNY financial plan...stay tuned...and pass on any information from the campus end!
Higher Education Legislation:
The Senate and Assembly Higher Education committees are up and running...limited agendas items generally non-budget related...but some issues are of interest and require monitoring...these include:
Higher Education News and Happenings:
SUNY Tuition Guarantee - News coverage around the state relative to the SUNY Tuition Guarantee has generally been good with several nice editorials. Some links of interest:
And then, the normal coverage on SUNY and higher education funding in NYS:
As mentioned earlier, the SUNY Legislative Reception and the Presidents Lobby Day were both successful events. This week, CUNY and CICU are walking the halls of the LOB...along with several hundred students from NYPIRG asking for more state assistance, opposing any tuition increase and voicing their general disagreement that a rational tuition policy could work in NYS.
Remember the Comprehensive and Colleges of Technology Sector Day is on 3/15 and Doctoral Sector Day is on 3/29. Additional visits to Albany are always in order and can help keep our issues active in both houses. UUP plans weekly visits from members around the state in support of our mutual interests. In closing...all I can add it "keep those cards and letters coming".