Senator Foley Announces Agreement on SUNY Empowerment

Senator Brian X. Foley (D – Blue Point) announced today that through his own advocacy, and that of his colleague, Senator William T. Stachowski, a bicameral agreement has been reached on the SUNY Empowerment legislation.

“Higher education is a lynchpin in so many ways and we must ensure that our students are receiving the best possible education,” said Senator Foley. “Allowing some of our state’s institutions of higher learning, including Stony Brook University, to have flexibility in setting tuition rates and entering into public-private partnerships will allow the schools to offer smaller class sizes and greater educational opportunities for our students.”

Senator Foley was an outspoken advocate of the empowerment legislation, insisting that it must be passed this session and could not be delayed further.

“I have held firm from day one that this measure was important to pass as part of the state budget,” said Senator Foley. “Although it was not included in the final budget bill we passed last night, I was assured that the higher education empowerment act will be voted on in the coming months, which is why I voted to pass last night’s bill.”

“We have reached a framework agreement on SUNY/CUNY empowerment,” said Senate Majority Conference Leader John L. Sampson. “Higher education is a lifeline for our children and for working-class New Yorkers. Increasing our investments in higher education to reduce class size, create jobs, and foster public/private partnerships, will ensure our SUNY and CUNY systems remain top ranked institutions, and guarantee the next generation of New York’s thinkers, leaders and workers will have the tools to excel. The leadership of the Senate, Assembly, and the Executive will continue to negotiate the details of this critical legislation and we will return to Albany to pass empowerment into law with bipartisan and bicameral support.”

The exact details of the legislation will be worked out in the coming weeks through continuing discussions.