“This morning, I spoke with the Governor’s Office about her 2023-24 Executive Budget proposal as it pertains to higher education. This proposal includes a tuition increase for our SUNY and CUNY students. Prior to the time the Democrats took control in the Senate in 2019, we passed the financial burdens of a quality higher education onto our students. I believe these costs should be funded by the State through operating aid, especially as we combat declining enrollment.
There are investments in this proposal that I find encouraging. A $500 million 2:1 private/state endowment match for our four SUNY research centers will go a long way. CUNY however, does not receive equal treatment in this budget, which I find troubling. Governor Hochul has also proposed an additional $200 million dollars for the University at Stony Brook and the University at Buffalo’s research centers, which will be helpful. UAlbany and SUNY Binghamton are both home to elite research programs and deserve the same level of investment.
I am pleased to see $1.5 billion dollars allocated for SUNY and CUNY in capital funding. Too many of our campuses face significant infrastructure issues, and while this funding is a good start, it is not enough to cover our system-wide problem. I would like to work with the Governor to expand this aid and develop a five-year capital plan.
The Governor also proposes moving oversight for the health care professions from the State Education Department to the Department of Health. I believe SED is the proper agency and should maintain oversight over the professions to ensure proper credentialing to maintain patient safety.
I will continue to review this 2023-24 executive budget, and I look forward to working with my colleagues in the Senate and Assembly, as well as the Governor’s Office, to pass a budget that benefits all New Yorkers and moves our Higher Education system forward.”