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For Immediate Release
January 19, 2021

Statement by UUP President Frederick E. Kowal on the governor’s proposed 2021-22 Executive Budget

“UUP staunchly opposes the governor’s budget, which seeks to cut essential public services at a time when New York should be focused on growth and expansion to escape the economic recession. Sadly, the governor has opted to hinder our rebound with proposed layoffs and reductions rather than optimize revenue streams available to the state.

“Action on any number of progressive revenue proposals would do more to stimulate the economy and lessen the pain everyday New Yorkers feel.

“Without the CARES Act and the most recent COVID relief bill funding, our campuses would be on their knees. While we anticipate some additional federal aid—thanks to President Biden, along with the support and work of Majority Leader Schumer, Sen. Gillibrand and our congressional delegation—it is negligent to structure a budget that withholds and rescinds funding from the very institutions that generate economic activity and educate an innovative and skilled work force. SUNY is an economic engine in every region of our state.

“We encourage the state Legislature to work together on significant revenue raisers that will allow New York to not just maintain austerity-level funding, but to invest in our future.

“For months, UUP has pushed for approval of a billionaires’ tax, an ultra-millionaires’ tax, the reinstatement of the state’s Stock Transfer Tax and a pied-a-terre tax, which, if passed, could provide billions in new revenue for New York. UUP supports the approval of legalizing sports betting and recreational marijuana, but those initiatives do not go far enough.

“We welcome smart investments, such as the Offshore Wind Training Institute at Stony Brook University and Farmingdale State College, and the SUNY For All Online Training Center, announced last week. These are the kind of initiatives that New York needs more of. We look forward to working with Chancellor Malatras on pushing SUNY as a driver in New York’s 21st century economic revitalization.”

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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