Bonacic Blasts Raid on SUNY Tuition

John J. Bonacic

March 26, 2009

State Senator John J. Bonacic (R/I/C – Mt. Hope) today called the move to raid SUNY tuition dollars “a tax on the middle class, negotiated in secret, and designed to hurt families who pay SUNY tuition.” 


            The tuition hike is $600.  The raid on the tuition hike will bring $62 million more to State coffers and be spent on things completely unrelated to SUNY or education.  


            Under the plan, secretly negotiated by Governor David Paterson – who once called himself a reformer, and rushed to a vote only three hours after the bills were printed, the Democratic plan diverts millions of dollars of SUNY tuition away from SUNY classrooms to pay for priorities of the New York City controlled State Assembly, Senate, and the Manhattan based Governor.


            “I received calls from SUNY New Paltz and SUNY Delhi which are not only important colleges but large employers and major economic engines in the Hudson Valley and Catskills.  This plan cost those local campuses millions of dollars they were counting on – millions of dollars that would have re-circulated in our communities time and time again,” Senator Bonacic said.


            Although Republicans represent more than 48% of the State’s population in the Senate, none were consulted in the creation of the budget plan.


            Bonacic noted that no raid occurred of CUNY tuition.  CUNY is the City University of New York – a New York City based SUNY counterpart.  “City families often use CUNY.  Families from the Hudson Valley and Catskills use SUNY.  This was a tuition raid by Democrats which mostly hurts families outside of New York City.  It hurts families who rely on SUNY for the higher education of their children.”


            “Governor Paterson claims we are ‘One New York’ but the only people he let in the room to craft his budget deal were from Manhattan and Queens.  This type of dysfunctional start does not bode well for anyone who lives outside of the City of New York where the State’s top three leaders are from,” Bonacic said.