Wednesday, January 4, 2006
Today, the 2006 Legislative Session officially opened with Governor Pataki's 12th State of the State Address. As you know, this was his last State of the State Address to the people of New York State as he is not seeking reelection. The Governor's address spoke to the successes of his three terms and set forth an agenda for working together with the State Legislature on issues of tax cuts, high tech initiatives and economic development, education reform, crime, and energy costs and reliance. The Governor addressed higher education specifically by talking about meeting the need for more math and science majors in SUNY and CUNY, noting a program to be developed for free tuition for students who major in math and science and agree to stay in New York to teach. Chancellor Ryan noted this need to attract more students to these disciplines in his testimony before the State Legislature Higher Education Committees late last year. The Governor also noted a program initiative to be called the Empire Innovation program which would drive top researchers and research dollars to SUNY and CUNY. This program, the details of which will not be known until the Executive Budget is released later in January, seems to be similar to the budget request developed by SUNY Chancellor Ryan and the Board of Trustees for a new Excelsior Research Faculty Initiative to drive cluster research in key areas throughout the state.
State of the State
Higher Education Highlights:
2006 Legislative Representative Changes
The following Legislators are not returning for the 2006 session. Special elections have yet to be announced.
NYSUT Government Relations
The New York State United Teachers' Board of Directors has voted to appoint Stephen K. Allinger as the union's new director of legislation. Allinger has been executive director of intergovernmental affairs for the New York City Department of Education since 1994. Prior to his tenure with the New York City Department of Education, Allinger served in a variety of capacities in state and city government, including three years as deputy director of budget studies for the New York State Assembly Ways and Means Committee, where he was responsible for K-12 and higher education budgets. Allinger was also the executive director of the New York State Special Commission on Educational Structure, Policies, and Practices, overseeing a comprehensive study of school district finances and educational practices. He began his legislative career in 1979 as the program associate for the state Assembly Committee on Higher Education. Steve is a SUNY alum and former student government leader
The Senate Higher Education Committee is holding a public hearing on Monday, January 9, 2006 to address the declining number of Math, Science and Engineering students earning college degrees in New York State and the growing competition from other states and countries. Chancellor Ryan will be presenting testimony on behalf of SUNY.
SUNY Day 2006
SUNY Day 2006 will be held in Albany on Tuesday, March 7th. The annual legislative reception will not be held this year. All our efforts will therefore be focused on SUNY day and those addition local campus advocacy activities that you organize. Detailed information will be forwarded shortly. Campus delegations should be comprised of the President and a selective group of campus representative individuals that include student and faculty leaders, campus administrators, council members or trustees, alumni and foundation or community leaders. SUNY advocacy materials will be provided to each delegation to supplement any locally produced materials. A balanced delegation is the goal for each campus in order to best represent the SUNY system on SUNY Day 2006.
GR/PR Staff Summit
Save the date - Thursday, January 26th, 2006 - the annual government relations/public relations staff summit to review the Executive budget and SUNY's advocacy agenda for the 2006 Legislative session. The summit will begin at 10:30 am at SUNY Plaza and will conclude by 3:30 pm to accommodate Amtrak and airline schedules. More details will follow this week.