May 6, 2010

State Relations Update - May 6, 2010

PHEEIA Support -

Fifteen representatives of business, local government, and industry recently sent an open letter to the Legislature urging their favorable consideration of the Public Higher Education Empowerment and Innovation Act.   

Governor's Press Conference -

Following the Board of Trustees meeting on Tuesday, May 11th, Governor Paterson will conduct a press conference with Lt. Governor Ravitch, SUNY Board Chair Hayden, Chancellor Zimpher, CUNY Chancellor Goldstein, business, community and union leaders as well as numerous SUNY Presidents. It is anticipated that it will begin at 3 p.m. in the Capitol and will once again promote the importance of the Public Higher Education Empowerment and Innovation Act and the Governor's unwavering commitment to have this issue remain a component of the 2010-11 budget discussions.

New Trustees -

The Governor has nominated Dr. Marshall Lichtman to replace former Trustee Randy Daniels on the SUNY Board of Trustees.  The Senate Higher Education Committee will interview Dr. Lichtman next Wednesday.  Dr. Lichtman is an alumni of UB School of Medicine.

The Student Assembly has elected Julie Gondar as their 2010-11 president who will also serve as the student trustee on the Board of Trustees. Ms. Gondar is currently a student at UAlbany and is interning this semester in the office of Assemblymember Deborah Glick, chair of the Assembly Higher Education Committee.

Upcoming Public Hearings -

The Senate is conducting two public hearings at which SUNY will offer testimony.  On May 12th, the Senate Education and Higher Education Committees will hold a joint public hearing on "Educating Educators:  Teacher preparedness in the 21st Century".  On May 17th, the Senate Veterans Affairs and Higher Education Committees will hold a joint public hearing on "From Battlegrounds to Classrooms".

New Legislation -

Several bills have been recently introduced the directly impact SUNY:

 A.10787 (Zebrowski) - S.7387 (Stavisky)  Includes peace officers at SUNY community colleges within the definition of the term "qualified agencies" for purposes of accessing criminal history records through the Division of Criminal Justice Services. SUNY supports.

 A.10344 (McEneny) Directs the SUNY Trustees to appoint a commissioner of state university police, who shall be the supervisory and administrative head of all university police forces; prohibits any further appointments of police chiefs of campus police forces. SUNY opposes.

 A.10068 (Abbate) - S.7078 (Savino)  Would allow certain SUNY employees in temporary nursing titles who were hired between January 1, 1994 and December 31, 2000 the option to transfer their membership from the optional retirement program to the New York State and Local Employees Retirement system since these individual were moved into permanent titles.  SUNY supports. 

Jim Campbell
Director of Legislative Relations
Office of Government Relations
State University of New York

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