Senator LaValle Continues as Chair of Senate’s Higher Education Committee

Kenneth P. LaValle

January 26, 2013

New York State Senator Kenneth P. LaValle (R,C,I – Port Jefferson) will again chair the New York State Senate’s Committee on Higher Education, a post Senator LaValle has held for all but two years since 1979. Senator LaValle’s appointment was announced by Senators Dean Skelos and Jeffrey Klein on January 24.  Senator LaValle was also appointed a member of an additional seven standing Senate committees: Aging, Education, Environmental Conservation, Finance, Insurance, Rules and Judiciary.

“I am honored to again chair the Senate’s Higher Education Committee whose  work is of critical importance to students and to our State and Long Island’s economic future,” Senator LaValle said.  “I will continue to be a champion and  fierce advocate for the State and City University systems and independent colleges and for all higher education."

“The Higher Education Committee’s work will be an important component of  Long Island’s and New York State’s continued economic development and  recovery,” LaValle explained,  “I have said and strongly believe that higher education is an important component of the engine that will power us out toward recovery and prosperity.”

“I look forward to working closely with my colleagues, SUNY, CUNY, our independent college presidents, and community and government leaders to further higher education and economic development in our state,” Senator LaValle said.

Senator LaValle said he will again push for passage of his College Affordability Act –that would help parents save for higher education for their children and give students and families access to low-interest student loans, as well as clear information about the size of the loan debt they are taking on.

In addition, the plan would encourage young New Yorkers to stay in the Empire State to begin their careers by creating a new "Stay-In-New York"  tax credit. This would provide up to $12,000 in tax relief over four years for students who graduate on time or early from a college in New York, perform community service work, and stay and work in New York for at least four years.

"Our nation's and state's ability to compete economically in the future is dependent upon how we invest in our students today," said Senator LaValle. "My plan makes investments in our students  that enables them to remain in New York and make greater investments in their future and our economy."

The College Affordability Act passed the Senate last year, but was not taken up by the Assembly. Senator LaValle spoke about the Act on the New York State Senate floor last June: