Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Learn from Smart Spending

The Joint Budget Conference Subcommittee on Higher Education closed on Monday after discussing the future of SUNY and CUNY and a sole no vote from Republican Assemblyman William Barclay.
One of the key issues avoided by the committee was the potential sweeping of SUNY tuition money, which Republican Chair Ken LaValle said would be addressed after the budget. This wait-and-see approach has also been seized by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who recently refused to commit to a "lock box" for SUNY tuition.
Upon questioning from Democratic Sen. Toby Stavisky, Democratic Chair Deb Glick said that the governor could still sweep funds as part of a mid-year budget reduction effort, but argued that the budget was crafted to avoid this possibility.
Highlights from the final report:
- $100 million reduction to SUNY system
- Restores $13 million in community college base aid
- Accepted the governor's proposal for capital appropriations
- Accepted $70 million in reductions to CUNY senior college
- Elimintated TAP for grad students
- Cut $6 million from the NY Higher Education Loan Program
- Authorizes SUNY and CUNY to purchase goods and execute certain contracts without prior approval of the comptroller and attorney general

Link to the full report.

The next big fight for the SUNY will be the implementation of its five-year-tuition plan, which hasn't been crafted, but will presumably include increases and some sort of provision against sweeping away their funds.

(Reporting by the StateWatch up-and-comer Corina Simonelli)

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