Annual Legislative Summary

Significant Higher Education Legislative Summary

Significant Higher Education Legislation Approved by Both the Senate & Assembly during the 2017 Session is shown below.

Significant Higher Education Legislation, 2017 Session

Chapter Laws 2017  |  Vetoes 2017  |  Passed by the Senate – Not Passed by Assembly  |  Passed By Assembly, Not Senate


Chapter Laws of 2017


Chapter 166 - GSEU Contract
S.6819 Hannon
A.8539 D'Urso
Implements the terms of a collectively negotiated agreement between the State of New York and the CWA Local 1104/ Graduate Students Employees Union, the employee organization representing members of the State University Graduate Student negotiating unit.

Chapter 170 – Student Records
S.5273-A  Gallivan
A.2093-B  Paulin
Prohibits unauthorized and false alterations and tampering of any official student records, files, or data maintained by a school or college.

Chapter 316 - Excess Food Donations
S.5664-B Klein
A.2409-B Ortiz
Authorizes the commissioner of education, in cooperation with the commissioner of agriculture and markets, to establish voluntary guidelines to provide for the donation of excess, unused, edible food from school, university or other educational institutions' meal programs to voluntary food assistance programs.

Chapter 350 - Reader Aid Funding
A.6515-A Nolan
S.4831-A LaValle
Increases the aid available for blind or deaf students in relation to the purchase and use of supports for the education of students who are blind, deaf, deaf-blind or hard of hearing.

Chapter 354 - Doctor of PT
A.7467 Gunther
S.2552 LaValle
Permits only a licensed physical therapist holding a doctor of physical therapy degree to use the abbreviation "D.P.T."

Chapter 386 - Boating Safety
S.5533-B Marcellino
A.7405-B Thiele
Permits the United States Sailing Association to be a provider of boating safety courses and boating safety certificates which will ensure SUNY Maritime can continue to offer such courses.

Chapter 440 - Retirement Credit
S.5948 Akshar
A.7818 Cahill
Relates to granting certain members of the state police credit for service as a state university police officer.

Chapter 451 - Buy American
A.8427-A Morelle
S.6639-A Robach
Enacts the "New York Buy American act" and provides that all contracts over one million dollars in value and made and awarded by any department or agency, including the SUNY Construction fund, for the construction, reconstruction, alteration, repair, maintenance or improvement of any roads or bridges shall contain a provision that the iron, steel and concrete used or supplied in the performance of the contract shall be produced or made in whole or substantial part in the United States.

Chapter 454 - GRE Exemption
A.3676-A Glick
S.2487-A LaValle
Relates to admission requirements for graduate-level teacher and educational leader programs for certified teachers already holding a graduate degree, exempting certified teachers who already hold a graduate degree from the graduate record examination or substantially equivalent admission examination requirement.

Chapter 458 - Workforce Development
A.1956 Bronson
S.3789 Phillips
Requires the Department of Labor to annually publish and post on its website a catalogue listing and describing multiple state and federal funding programs and tax credits for workforce development and preparation, adult education, and skills training.

Chapter 456 - Student Loan Deduction
S.4491 Felder
A.6601 Kavanagh
Grants a personal income tax deduction for the amount of any student loan that is discharged as the result of the death or permanent and total disability of the borrower.

Chapter 502 - BSN
S.6768 Flanagan
A.1842-B Morelle
Requires that all RPNs either have or obtain a bachelor's degree within 10 years of initial licensure and creates a temporary commission to be known as the nursing program evaluation commission to examine barriers to entry into baccalaureate programs.

Vetoes of 2017


Veto 179 - Mobile-Friendly Websites
A.6658 Gjonaj
S.6702 Bailey
Requires all state agencies create and maintain mobile-friendly platforms for their websites and resources.

Veto 204 - Maintenance of Effort Expansion
A.934-A Glick
S.1596-A LaValle
Clarifies that the SUNY health science centers are included in the maintenance of effort provision pursuant to Chapter 260 of the Laws of 2011 in additional to collective bargaining costs, fringe benefits, rental costs and inflationary expenses.

Veto 205 - 5 Year Capital Plan
A.967 Glick
S.1625 LaValle
Directs the Governor to submit a five-year capital plan that meets 100 percent of the critical maintenance needs identified by SUNY and CUNY and may include funds for new infrastructure or other major capital initiatives.

Veto 206 - Innovation Vouchers
A.1260-A Buchwald
S.817-A Funke
Establishes the New York state innovation voucher program that provides small businesses with access to research and development by colleges and universities, government laboratories and public research institutes in order to assist such businesses in the creation of innovative products or services.

Veto 207 - STEM Scholarship Expansion
A.1808-A Morelle
S.2466-A LaValle
Expands the New York state science, technology, engineering and mathematics incentive program to included private colleges and universities

Veto 213 - E-TAP Expansion
A.7697 Pichardo
S.5891 Klein
Clarifies that enhanced tuition awards are for attendance at private degree granting institutions of higher education.

Veto 215 - Workforce Needs
A.8107 Bronson
S.6536 Ortt
Establishes within the New York state urban development corporation, the strategic investment in workforce development program to identify and address workforce needs throughout the state.

Veto 217 - Master Teacher Scholarship Expansion
S.2482-C LaValle
A.5910-C Fahy
Expands the Masters-in-Education Teacher Incentive Scholarship Program with other state scholarship programs allowing students to choose the college or university with the academic program and approach that benefits them most.

Veto 229 - Hospital Safety Net
S.5661-B Little
A.7763 Gottfried
Establishes the enhanced safety net hospital program to provide for the payment, solely by the state, of enhanced medical assistance payments to hospitals which serve the uninsured or recipients of medical assistance, are public sector hospitals, or are federally designated as critical access or sole community hospitals.

Veto 242 - Accreditation Account
S.6780 LaValle
A.8491 Glick
Would provide for the establishment of an account to allow SED to collect and spend monies received for accreditation purposes to support its accreditation function, including the addition of dedicated accreditation staff, and expenses incurred to support and enhance the accreditation of institutions of higher education in this State.

Passed by the Senate – Not Passed by the Assembly


Military Family Tuition
S.254 Ortt
A.1737 Hawley
Provides free tuition expenses for SUNY or CUNY to surviving dependent family members of NYS military personnel who have died while performing official military duties.
Assembly Status: Held for consideration in Higher Education Committee

Firefighters Course Audits
S.376 Ortt
A.4715 Englebright
Would allow active volunteer firefighters and active volunteer ambulance workers to audit courses at SUNY state-operated and community colleges on a tuition-free basis.
Assembly Status: Higher Education Committee

Border State Tuition
S.549 Young
A.2778 Ryan
Authorizes the state university trustees to offer separate tuition rates to certain non-resident undergraduate students attending Fredonia or Alfred State.
Assembly Status: Higher Education Committee

Police Tuition Waivers
S.885 Golden
A.4063 Lentol
Provides tuition waivers for two courses for police officer students of CUNY and SUNY which are related to their employment.
Assembly Status: Higher Education Committee

Veterans Centers
S.938 Croci
A.4755 DenDekker
Requires the director of the Division of Veterans Affairs to collaborate with SUNY and CUNY, in order to develop a Veteran Career Assistance Program to assist veterans in translating their military experiences and skills for the purpose of building a civilian resume.
Assembly Status: Higher Education Committee

Sex Offenders
S.1009 Robach
No Assembly Companion
Prohibits level three sex offenders from living in college housing.

Military Residency
S.1011 Robach
No Assembly Companion
Allows for any person who is serving or has served in active duty of the United States military under the provisions of the legislation to be considered a resident of the State of New York as it relates to attending community colleges and state-aided four-year colleges.

Senior Credit Courses
S.1110 Felder
A.1672 Magnarelli
Permits persons 65 years of age to enroll in a limited number of state university courses for credit without tuition.
Assembly Status: Higher Education Committee

Disabled Student TAP
S.1171 Carlucci
A.7613 Zebrowski
Allows disabled students to increase duration limits for student financial aid awards.
Assembly Status: Higher Education Committee

TAP Eligibility
S.1243 LaValle
A.8110 Simon
Extends eligibility for tuition assistance program awards for certain undergraduates who must transfer to another institution as a result of a permanent college closure by two semesters.
Assembly Status: Ways and Means Committee

Fire Safety Update
S.1518-A Avella
A.3542-A DenDekker
Authorizes and directs the boards of trustees of SUNY and CUNY to report on the extent of fire detection and suppression systems within residential facilities within the state and city university provided or maintained in response to the New York State Governor's Task Force on Campus Fire Safety issued in July 2000.
Assembly Status: Higher Education Committee

Study Abroad Disclosure
S.2073 LaValle
A.4792 Glick
Provides for disclosure of relationships between institutions of higher education and study abroad programs.
Assembly Status: Higher Education Committee

Regional Councils
S.2103 Jacobs
A.4643 Titus
Would require the board of trustees of the community colleges to consult with the regional community college councils to create new degree or certificate programs, or restructure old ones, in order to more successfully place future students with jobs.
Assembly Status: Higher Education Committee

Hospital Operating Accounts
S.2211 LaValle-
No Assembly Companion
Establishes the state university of New York upstate medical hospital operating account, the state university of New York downstate medical hospital operating account and the state university of New York Stony Brook medical hospital operating account.

College Council Attendance
S.2212 LaValle
A.8297 Hyndman
Mandates attendance by members appointed by the governor at meetings of councils of state-operated institutions.
Assembly Status: Higher Education Committee

TAP Increases
S.2213-A LaValle
No Assembly Companion
Would raise the net taxable income eligible for Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) awards from $80,000 to $100,000 and raise the minimum TAP award to $1,000 and adjust the formula for awards.

Unemployment Training
S.2232 LaValle
A.969 Simon
Establishes the retrain and employ unemployed persons program providing grants to community colleges to develop training programs or improve existing workforce development programs for the purposes of training unemployed individuals for jobs in the regions surrounding such community colleges.
Assembly Status: Higher Education Committee

Textbook Accessibility
S.2444 Hamilton
A.7221 Kim
Requires the boards of trustees of the state university of New York and the city university of New York each to conduct and report on the availability and accessibility of alternative high-quality, lower cost course resources in lieu of traditional textbooks.
Assembly Status: Higher Education Committee

TAP Award Increase
S.2483-A LaValle
No Assembly Companion
Would increase the maximum TAP award to $6,470 phased in over the next two years and increases the maximum income eligibility from $80,000 to $100,000 and adjusts the TAP schedule accordingly for those who receive awards beginning in 2018-2019.

Student Organization Funding
S.2493 Phillips
No Assembly Companion
Prohibits certain student organizations which participate in discrimination or intolerance, including advocating for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) of Israel and American allied nations, from receiving public funding from SUNY, CUNY or community colleges.

DSH Funding
S.2546 Hannon
A.3126 Gottfried
Would preserve and continue New York State's payment of the SUNY hospital's state match as required by the federal government to ensure future eligibility for DSH funding.
Assembly Status: Health Committee

Fiscal Note
S.2548 LaValle
No Assembly Companion
Requires the inclusion of a fiscal note with the adoption of a resolution or change in the rules and regulations governing educational institutions which have a fiscal impact.

Student Conduct
S.2552 LaValle
A.5094 Weprin
Requires colleges to educate the campus community on bias-related crime, hazing, underage drinking and illegal drug use and expands authority of colleges to regulate conduct by college and student government organizations and clubs, athletic teams and clubs, alumni organizations, fraternities, sororities, and any other organization that has access to and use of the college facilities.
Assembly Status: Higher Education Committee

Student Debt Relief
S.2554 LaValle
No Assembly Companion
Establishes the New York student affordable refinancing for tomorrow program (New START) for the purpose of relieving student debt by directly paying an eligible participant's loan debt to the lending institution or lender and providing a repayment plan whereby payments will be deposited in the fund.

Employment Assistance
S.2603 LaValle
No Assembly Companions
Establishes the "help individuals reach employment program"(HIRE) designed to help ensure employment outcomes for students graduating from a SUNY or CUNY institution and provide them with tools necessary to find employment after school by providing an opportunity for additional training for enhanced marketability for a job if an applicant to the HIRE program has had trouble finding employment.

Community College Capital Funding
S.2622 LaValle
No Assembly Companion
Requires that New York State must provide seventy-five percent of the cost for capital critical maintenance for SUNY community colleges and sixty-percent of the cost of new capital construction projects for SUNY community colleges.

Computer Science Courses
S.3026 Ranzenhofer
A.1738 Hevesi
Requires regulations authorizing computer science courses to count towards liberal arts content at institutions of higher learning; defines computer science.
Assembly Status: Higher Education Committee

Veterans Academic Credit
S.3674-A Addabbo
A.3179-A DenDekker
Provides that SUNY & CUNY must recognize courses and award educational credits for courses that were part of a veteran's military training or service if the courses meet the standards of the American Council on Education or equivalent standards for awarding academic credits.
Assembly Status: Higher Education Committee

ESF Hunting
S.3716 DeFrancisco
A.4482 Magee
Relates to possession of firearms on property owned by or held in trust for SUNY ESF to permit restoration of hunting rights.
Assembly Status: Codes Committee

Incubator Tax Relief
S.3828 LaValle
A.3330 Schimminger
Provides an exemption from the tax on sales and the compensating use tax for equipment, with a purchase price of five hundred dollars or greater, purchased by companies located in college incubator facilities or incubator facilities funded by the state.
Assembly Status: Ways and Means Committee

Dissertation Sales
S.3834 LaValle
A.3482 Schimminger
Prohibits the sale of academic dissertations, theses and term papers whether written or provided through electronic media.
Assembly Status: Higher Education Committee

Food Purchases
S.3918 Ritchie
A.2185 Peoples-Stokes
Enacts the "buy from the backyard act" that requires the office of general services and other state agencies to buy 20% of all their food products from producers and/or processors in New York state.
Assembly Status: Agriculture Committee

Boarder State Tuition
S.3949 Young
No Assembly Companion
Authorizes the SUNY trustees to offer separate tuition rates to non-resident undergraduate students who reside within 200 miles of a SUNY state-operated institution.

S.4062 Lanza
A.7235 Cusick
Exempts institutions of higher education from the metropolitan commuter transportation mobility tax.
Assembly Status: Ways and Means Committee

Fire Science Instructors
S.4479 Larkin
A.6029 Gunther
Authorizes retired firefighters to be employed as fire science instructors by career and technical education centers without reduction of their retirement benefits.
Assembly Status: Governmental Employees Committee

FIT Chargebacks
S.4559 LaValle
A.301 Jaffee
Would provide that the State, subject to the availability of appropriation, pay the chargeback fees for baccalaureate and master’s degree programs to FIT, and in turn, counties will no longer have the authority to pass such costs on to any city, town or village in that county.
Assembly Status: Higher Education Committee

Border State Tuition
S.4616 Griffo
No Assembly Companion
Authorizes the state university trustees to offer separate tuition rates to non-resident undergraduate students attending the state university college of arts and sciences at Potsdam living within 200 miles of the campus.

Heart Benefits
S.4634 Funke
A.6413 Abbate
Includes SUNY police officers for purposes of presumption regarding impairment caused by heart disease.
Assembly Status: Rules Committee

Boycott Prohibition
S.4837 Klein
No Assembly Companion
Prohibits the use of state aid by colleges and universities to fund or provide membership in academic institutions that are boycotting a country or higher education institutions of a country.

Loan Refinancing
S.5120 Hamilton
A.6811 Crespo
Establishes a private student loan refinance task force to study and report on ways lending institutions offering private student loans to graduates of institutions of higher education can be encouraged to establish student loan refinancing programs.
Assembly Status: Higher Education Committee

Home Instruction
S.5131-A Robach
No Assembly Sponsor
Relates to admission to institutions of higher education for pupils receiving home instruction and prohibits the commissioner from requiring pupils who have completed the requirements of a home school education or a non-public school program to obtain or submit proof of having obtained a general education development certificate or any accredited diploma.
Assembly Status: Higher Education Committee

Student Loan Tax Credit
S.5136 Klein
A.7224 Crespo
Establishes the college debt freedom account program to provide a tax credit for employer contributions toward student loans.
Assembly Status: Higher Education Committee

Curriculum Approval
S.5182 Ranzenhofer
No Assembly Companion
Relates to streamlining higher education program approvals in that any new curricula proposed by a college that does not require a change in its master plan and that is led to a professional licensure that is approved by SUNY trustees shall be deemed registered within thirty days of notification of approval.

Organ Donation
S.5283-C Jacobs
A.8116 Ortiz
Authorizes registration as an organ donor in the donate life registry on SUNY, CUNY and library card applications.
Assembly Status: Higher Education Committee

Felony Conviction
S.5462-A Young
No Assembly Companion
Directs the SUNY board of trustees to require applicants to state-operated institutions to state whether they have been convicted of a violent felony sex offense or multiple counts of sexual misconduct.
Assembly Status: Higher Education Committee

Athletic Team Discontinuation
S.5567-A LaValle
A.7561-A Glick
Relates to notification requirements when a college plans to dissolve any athletic team.
Assembly Status: Ways and Means Committee

Room & Board Costs
S.5575 LaValle
No Assembly Companion
Requires the state university and the city university of New York to disclose the costs of providing and those imposed for room and board on each campus.

Organ Donation
S.6196 Peralta
A.8469 Ortiz
Requires that space be provided on applications for student loan and aid programs, for the applicant to register in the "donate life registry" for organ, eye and tissue donation established pursuant to section 4310 of the public health law.
Assembly Status: Higher Education Committee

Faculty Report
S.6299 LaValle
No Assembly Companion
Directs the board of trustees of the state university of New York and the city university of New York to report on the current composition of faculty at four year campuses and community colleges.

Design & Construction Corporation
S.6437 Phillips
No Assembly Companion
Repeals the New York state design and construction corporation act.

Textbook Costs
S.6608 Helming
No Assembly Companion
Reduces the cost of textbooks and course materials for students of institutions of higher education by requiring every institution of higher education to adopt policies that allow the use of innovative pricing techniques and payment options for textbooks, supplemental materials, and other course materials or textbooks.

Passed By Assembly – Not Passed by the Senate

Tobacco Free SUNY
A.1656 Mosley
Prohibits the use and sale of tobacco at state-operated institutions of the state university of New York.
Senate Status: Higher Education Committee

Copyright Protection
A.2401 Galef
Waives the ability of government agencies in New York to claim copyright protection except where the record reflects artistic creation, or scientific or academic research, or if the agency intends to distribute the record or derivative work based on it to the public by sale or other transfer of ownership.
Senate Status: Investigations Committee

Building Naming
A.2816 McDonald
No Senate Companion
Prohibits the naming of buildings after public officials.

A.3039 Moya
S.471-A Peralta
Enacts the New York state DREAM ACT by creating the New York DREAM fund commission and amends eligibility requirements and conditions governing certain awards.
Senate Status: Higher Education Committee

Teacher Education GPA Admission
A.3917 Glick
No Senate Companion
Relates to the cumulative grade point average admission requirement for graduate-level teacher and educational leader programs.

Racial Database
A.4884 Moya
S.4234 Hoylman
Provides that no state or local agency, or any agent thereof, may use any funds, facilities, property, equipment or personnel of such agency to investigate, enforce or provide assistance in the investigation or enforcement of any federal program requiring registration of individuals, or maintaining a database of individuals, on the basis of race, color, creed, gender, sexual orientation, religion or national or ethnic origin.
Senate Status: Codes Committee

Gender Neutral Bathrooms
A.5137-A Rosenthal
S.6620 Lanza
Requires that all single occupancy bathrooms in state owned or operated buildings and office space be designated as gender neutral.
Senate Status: Rules Committee

ACT Exam Expansion
A.6526-A Magnarelli
S.5272-A DeFrancisco
Provides flexibility for the ACT college entrance test to be offered on seven occasions versus the current five.
Senate Status: Education Committee

Anti-Discrimination Protections
A.6659 Dilan
S.6356 Marcellino
Extends the anti-discrimination protections of the Human Rights Law to cover public as well as private colleges and universities.
Senate Status: Investigations Committee

Government Relations