Senator Grisanti Follows Through On Campaign Promise With Passage Of UB 2020 Legislation

New York State Senator Mark Grisanti (60th District) today joined his colleagues from the Western New York legislative delegation in introducing a new bill that supports the University at Buffalo’s strategic plan, legislation that will benefit students, families and the economy of Western New York.

“This legislation represents one of the major pieces of the puzzle when you talk about the economic future of Western New York,” Senator Grisanti said. “This action today helps send a unified message to Governor Cuomo and others in Albany that we are serious about seeing this important legislation moves forward.”

Grisanti and Senators George Maziarz, Patrick Gallivan, Michael Ranzenhofer and Timothy Kennedy believe the UB 2020 legislation entitled the “UB 2020 Flexibility and Economic Growth Act” represents their ongoing commitment to the Western New York community and to improving public higher education.

“I commend Senator Grisanti for his leadership on such an important job creation issue for all of Western New York,” Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos said.  “He made a commitment to get this done and today’s action, the first bill Senator Grisanti passed in the Senate, keeps his commitment.”

“The Senate failed to act on UB2020  under different leadership the past two years, but Senator Grisanti, working together with the other members of the regional delegation, is moving it forward,” Senator Skelos said.  “Now we need the Assembly to pass this bill so it can be signed into law and the UB2020 plan can be used to start the economic growth and job creation that is needed in Western New York.”

The bill would give UB the opportunity to create a tuition policy that is fair, responsible and predictable and enable the school to use tuition revenue to pursue the UB 2020 plan for academic excellence while at the same time protecting students’ access to high-quality education, especially for the state’s neediest students.

The bill proposes reforms to state law that will provide UB with the tools needed to move forward with the UB 2020 plan, a project that is expected to have a positive impact on Western New York, particularly downtown Buffalo with the creation of thousands of jobs in the construction and higher education industries.

“Even though Senator Grisanti has only been in office three months, he has shown great professional leadership in getting this critical legislation passed,” said Paul Brown, president of the Buffalo Building and Construction Trades Council. “The UB 2020 bill, which places no burden on taxpayers, will create thousands of the types of jobs that labor needs.  I now call on the Assembly to show the same kind of strong leadership and do what’s right for Buffalo-Niagara.”

UB 2020 has earned widespread support throughout the region because of its potential to spur economic development and create jobs over the next several years, with Grisanti and his colleagues believing the reforms are needed to provide students with access to world-class higher education that provides them the ability to achieve academic excellence.

“The passage of these reforms is crucial if we are going to move ahead on this opportunity to help revitalize our economy,” Sen. Grisanti said. “During my campaign we championed for the passage of UB 2020. Bringing resources and jobs back to Western New York is my number one priority. I am hopeful this will be a catalyst to start a dialogue with the governor and the Assembly so we can reach our goals and get these important reforms passed.”