New York State Senator Kenneth P. LaValle (R-C-I, Port Jefferson) today announced he has fought for and restored funding to the proposed New York State budget that would have decimated local hospital programs and veterans’ care on Long Island by reorganizing and prioritizing what is important to the First Senatorial District and Long Island and all for less than the original budget as proposed by the Governor.
Coming in at approximately $132.5 billion, the Senate budget spends less than the Executive Budget and stabilizes the State’s finances this year and in future years.
“I and my Senate colleagues are in agreement with many of the Governor’s proposals,” said LaValle, chairman of the Senate’s Higher Education Committee, “but I could not let stand the extreme cuts to local hospitals, our veteran’s home and aid to community colleges that would hurt those who most need our help. It is my hope that these restored funds will help the Burn Center at Suny Stony Brook continue its mission.”
LaValle said he restored funding in the Senate’s budget to now include:
- restoration of most of SUNY Stony Brook Medical Center’s $50 million cut
- $4.7 million for the Long Island Veteran’s Home at Stony Brook
- $16.6 million in community college based aid.
LaValle also said he has championed a provision in the Senate budget to return 75 percent of the 2008-09 SUNY tuition increase back into the 2012-13 academic year. The students’ tuition money was previously swept into the state’s general fund. “We inserted a provision to make sure the students’ and parents’ money can never be stolen again,” LaValle said. The LaValle provision also states that 100 percent of any future tuition increases be retained by SUNY and “Defines the state’s obligation in terms of investment in our students and our campuses,” LaValle said. “Tuition increases will now benefit students and SUNY and cannot be used as a piggy bank for the state,” LaValle added.