Senate Majority - By all accounts it appears that the membership of the Senate majority conference will be 30 Republicans and 2 Democrats. It remains unknown at this time as to how leadership positions and committee chairs will be assigned. Senator Malcolm Smith contends that the vote to elect Senator Skelos as Majority Leader was illegal and a court challenge is expected. The Senate is scheduled to reconvene tomorrow at 3:00 pm. More details to follow when available.
End of Session – Only eight session days remain till June 22nd, which is the “official” last day of the 2009 session.
Chancellor Zimpher & the Legislature – Chancellor Zimpher has already had several meetings with members of the Legislature with additional meetings pending . On Monday, June 1st, the Chancellor was introduced on the floor of the Assembly. Today she meet with Assembly Majority Leader Ron Canestrari and Assembly Higher Education Chair Deborah Glick. Tomorrow she will be meeting with Senator Toby Stavisky and in a separate meeting the Chair of the Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic and Asian Caucus, Assemblyman Darryl Towns; Executive Board member of the Puerto Rican/Hispanic Task Force, Assemblyman Peter Rivera and Chair of the NYS Senate Conference of Black Senators, Senator Ruth Hassell-Thompson. Chancellor Zimpher will meet with Senator Ken LaValle this Thursday. Also today Chancellor Zimpher addressed the Assembly Higher Education Committee at which she was enthusiastically welcomed. Finally, the Chancellor will also be hosting a reception for alumni Legislators and SUNY alumni legislative staff this evening in the State Capitol.
Nursing Discussions – Senator Toby Stavisky recently hosted a roundtable discussion on the proposal to require a bachelor’s degree for nurses (BSN). Various stakeholders attended offering their particular views on this concept, which has its staunch supporters and opponents. Assemblyperson Glick conducted an informal informational meeting on the same topic last week. While there is no clear indication from the Legislature as to how they will be dealing with this issue this session, it seems apparent that much more discussion will take place before a bill is formally considered.
Legislation of Interest - To date, only four significant bills have been approved by both the Senate and Assembly, other than budget bills, which impact SUNY and higher education:
Chapter 8 of the Laws of 2009
A.300 Millman - S.1747 Stavisky
Enacts the "New York higher education cares act" to distribute student residual consumer goods from NYS universities and colleges to not-for-profit organizations.
Chapter 13 of the Laws of 2009
A.2714 Glick - S.2296 Stavisky
Requires college campuses to provide incoming students with information about domestic violence and stalking prevention.
Chapter 26 of the Laws of 2009
A.3169 Bradley - S.2754 Johnson, C.
Provides that if a public body has the ability, it must post notices of place and time of public meetings on its website.
A.1846 Morelle - S.3088 Valesky
Prohibits state agencies from making loans to employees.
Status: delivered to governor - 5/29/09
Click here for a comprehensive listing of higher education legislation. In addition, there remain several legislative issues of interest to SUNY that are still under consideration by the Assembly and Senate:
A.1138 (Gottfried) - S.4529 (Krueger)
Authorizes the provision of optometric services, which are provided by certain diagnostic and treatment centers licensed under article twenty-eight of the public health law and affiliated with the college of optometry of the state university of New York, to recipients of medical assistance for the needy.
A.613-A (John) - S.4123-A (Onorato)
Provides that an offer of employment or assignment made to a part-time faculty employee by a higher education institution which is contingent on enrollment, funding, or programmatic changes shall not constitute reasonable assurance of continued employment.
A.1697-A (Englebright) - S.4847-A (Stavisky)
Enacts the higher education community service act to promote volunteer service by higher education students; creates a council for higher education community service to regulate and recognize persons and programs associated therewith.
A.2020-B (Schimminger) - S.2020-C (Stachowski)
Enacts the UB 2020 Flexibility and Economic Growth Act which relates to tuition increases, leasing, contracting, and the overall daily operation at the State University of New York at Buffalo.
A.2344 (McEneny) - S.5097 (Savino)
Allows state university police officers to transfer to the NYSLPFRS and to be covered by the provisions of a new 25 year half pay retirement plan, with additional one-sixtieths of final average salary for each year of service in excess of twenty-five years, but not exceeding fifteen such years.
A.3687 (Bradley) - S.4134 (Oppenheimer)
Authorizes the lease of lands located at the state university of New York at Purchase for a senior learning community.
A.8574 (Peoples) - S.3695 (Perkins)
Provides for the financing and construction of capital facilities for certain not-for-profit corporations affiliated with the state university of New York.
A.4940-A (Lentol) - S.4302-A (Valesky)
Expands the geographical area of employment of university police officers.
Director of Legislative Relations
Office of University Relations
State University of New York