March 25, 2005; 1:10pm
Budget Update - The Legislature has recessed till Tuesday 3/29 for the Easter weekend, but the staff will continue to work in an attempt to have budget bills available for introduction on Monday evening and passage by Thursday, March 31 (on time!).
As indicated earlier, the SUNY/CUNY capital programs are still under serious 3-way discussions between the Executive and the Legislature. No specific details are available at this time relative to an agreed to dollar amount or specific projects.
The General Conference Committee met this morning and announced, amongst a series of agreed to programs, tax reductions and enhancements, increasing the Higher Education Capital Match program by $50 million, bringing the total to $300 million. They proposed splitting equally…$150 million for private colleges and $150 million for SUNY & CUNY. Once again, specific details are not available but it is anticipated that the allocations would be formula driven similar to last years Senate/Assembly agreement.
The General Conference Committee is scheduled to reconvene on Monday afternoon, with the staff working through the weekend. We will be in contact with the staffs over the weekend to monitor their progress.
Advocacy Efforts - It was clearly evident that campus advocacy efforts were effective in shaping the Legislative budget recommendation for SUNY. While the tuition guarantee proposal was rejected by the Assembly, it will be continually discussed and we anticipate that Senator LaValle will introduce legislation implementing a variation on the original proposal with an eye towards agreement before the end of the Legislative Session. Therefore, the advocacy and "postcard" campaigns are still valuable and should be continued in order to keep the tuition debate active as the Legislature acts on their non-budget agenda.
Sector Day - While the formal aspects of the 3/29 Doctoral Sector Day have been cancelled, several campuses are still planning to pursue an advocacy effort in Albany. These efforts continue to be important not only for your specific campus initiatives, but also for promoting a successful budget and the need for a viable tuition plan.
We will keep you posted as the weekend unfolds.