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For Immediate Release
January 15, 2019

Statement from UUP President Frederick E. Kowal on the proposed 2019-20 state budget
p class="MsoNormal">“While UUP realizes that many fiscal challenges lay before New York state, we were hopeful that after years of status quo state budgets, SUNY would see more funding in the governor’s 2019-20 Executive Budget for our cash-strapped campuses and state-operated public teaching hospitals.

“What appears to be essentially another flat budget for SUNY will make it more difficult to continue delivering the world-class educational experience SUNY universities and colleges are known for.

“The governor should be commended for the Excelsior Scholarship program, which helps make a college education possible for thousands of New Yorkers. But without more funding for SUNY, our campuses won’t be able to hire more full-time faculty and professional staff to meet ever-growing enrollment increases caused in part by the scholarship.

“A number of campuses, including SUNY Fredonia, Stony Brook University, Binghamton University and SUNY New Paltz, are reporting budget deficits that may force—or have already forced—administrators to cut programs and necessary services to make ends meet. More funding is needed for these, and all SUNY universities and colleges.

“Our public teaching hospitals in Brooklyn, Stony Brook and Syracuse are in dire need of state support. The Executive Budget does not appear to contain a necessary subsidy for the state hospitals, funds that would be used to pay for employee fringe benefits, help fund their medical schools, and to pay debt service.

“These teaching hospitals turn no one away, regardless of their ability to pay for care. Their medical schools provide an important pipeline of doctors and professional health specialists to New York City and statewide.

“Other major issues, such as state support for the full cost of the Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) for students at state-operated campuses, are not addressed in the budget proposal.

“The state needs a strong investment in higher ed. UUP looks forward to working with the Legislature and the governor on these and other issues of importance that will serve the long-term interests of public higher education in New York."

UUP is the nation's largest higher education union, with more than 42,000 academic and professional faculty and retirees. UUP members work at 29 New York state-operated campuses, including SUNY’s public teaching hospitals and health science centers in Brooklyn, Long Island and Syracuse. It is an affiliate of NYSUT, the American Federation of Teachers, the National Education Association, and the AFL-CIO.


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