State Legislative Update - December 17, 2008
|December 17, 2008
As you know, Governor Paterson released his 2009-10 Executive Budget Proposal, which outlines a spending plan in one of the most difficult fiscal times this state and country have experienced in decades. Yesterday and today, Chairman Carl Hayden, Vice Chancellor John O'Connor and Vice Chancellor Michael Trunzo have been meeting with legislative leaders and their fiscal committee staffs to brief them on (1) the impact of the Executive Budget on state-operated campuses, hospitals and community colleges, (2) the SUNY Board of Trustee position that 100% of the tuition be used for academic and higher educational purposes, and (3) SUNY's call for increased flexibility in administrative and land use/entrepreneurial activities.
This is the beginning of a long process...but it is important to get our message out early given the depth and breadth of the proposal budget reductions. The Office of Government Relations will be coordinating various legislative and leadership visits, along with key administrators in the Governor's Office and the Division of the Budget. We hope to include campus presidents in many, if not all of these visits and will reach out to campuses as meetings are arranged.
Siena College Research Institute Survey
The Siena College Research Institute issued their recent survey today which shows that 68% of voters oppose - including 59% who strongly oppose - using an increase in SUNY and CUNY tuition to help balance the budget, rather than to improve higher education. Attached is the specific question cross tabs. Siena College Research Institute Press Release.
While you have received briefing materials from yesterday's conference call and your business officers have also been briefed, below find a short summary of the main aspects of the budget, along with the accompanying DOB materials.
State Operated Campuses / Hospitals
The Executive Budget supports the enacted state-operated tuition increase, but takes 90% ($68.5 million in spring 09) and 80% ($53.5 million in fall 09) of the resulting revenue for state budget deficit reduction purposes. It proposes to increase graduate and 1st professional tuition by an additional 7% above recently approved rates, thus raising $12.6 million of which 80% ($10 million) is taken for state budget deficit reduction purposes. The proposal funds contractual agreements for state-operated campus, but not for SUNY hospitals. The SUNY hospital subsidy is reduced by 16.5% or $25.4 million, with Medicaid and Graduate Medical Education reductions of at least $32 million as presented by the Paterson Administration in November 2008. $40 million is swept in state-operated campus IFR monies. A 10% tithe on indirect cost recoveries on federal contracts through the Research Foundation is instituted. University-wide programs are eliminated and reduced at various levels totaling $22.7 million. For this fiscal year, $10.2 million is provided for increased energy costs.
The Article VII bills contain several of the administrative flexibility items requested in the SUNY Budget Request, including: post-audit of expenditures; access to OGS centralized contracts for affiliated campus organizations, health care facilities ability to enter into manage care networks, construction funds delivery methods and bond threshold increases. The land use flexibility and private-public partnership activities are under the jurisdiction of the Governor's State Asset Management (SAM) Commission which will soon issue its report and accompanying program legislation. SUNY System along with several campuses testified before the SAM Commission, and we expect many of the land use items suggested to be included in their recommendations.
The Executive Budget carries forward the categorical reductions enacted in November 2008 ($769k)and decreases base-aid by an average of $270 per FTE beginning with the 2008-09 fiscal year ($11 million) and carrying over to the 2009-10 fiscal year ($14.1 million). This is the same proposal offered in November where the decreased is adjusted depending upon campus enrollment A $160 per FTE reduction for campuses with less than 3,000 FTE; $230 reduction per FTE reduction for campuses with 3,000 - 6,000 FTE; and $300 reduction for campuses with more than 6,000 FTE.
The Executive Budget funds $550 million in critical maintenance for state-operated campuses; and $42.9 million for community college projects.
Governor's press release on Executive Budget
Governor's press release summary on higher education
Executive Budget Briefing Book - see pages 69-75
Agency Presentation Book - see pages 83-96
Supporting Legislation - see pages 429-459 (SUNY Budget); 460-504 (Capital - state operated); 505-527 (Capital - community colleges)
Memorandum in Support for Legislation