New York lawmakers will hold a hearing next week to discuss the higher education portion of Governor Kathy Hochul’s proposed budget. While advocates like Frederick Kowal, of United University Professions, support the proposed increases in the governor’s budget for the second year in a row, Kowal warns that more funding is necessary to address structural deficits at SUNY campuses and hospitals.
The budget proposal includes a provision that would allow the state’s four research colleges, Albany, Binghamton, Buffalo, and Stony Brook, to raise tuition by 30% over the next five years. Kowal argues that this would further burden students, whether or not they can afford it, and could be seen as the privatization of a public good. He added that the state needs to commit public funds to these public institutions.
After serving as the chair of the state Assembly Higher Education Committee for many years, Manhattan Democrat Deborah Glick has now shifted over to the Environmental Conservation Committee. Assemblymember Pat Fahy has succeeded Glick and is now leading the Higher Education Committee. Kowal said he is “really looking forward to working with” Fahy, and that the Albany Democrat has had conversations with UUP and knows the issues facing SUNY.
The legislative budget hearing on the higher education funding is scheduled to be held on Monday, February 27th in Albany. The budget agreement is due on April 1st.
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