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For Immediate Release
January 18, 2022

Statement from UUP President Frederick E. Kowal on Gov. Kathy Hochul’s Executive Budget

ALBANY, NY – In this statement, President Kowal provides comments on Gov. Hochul’s Executive Budget, which was released today:

“Gov. Hochul’s proposed Executive Budget clearly addresses some longstanding issues for SUNY that have been underfunded or ignored by the state for more than a decade. However, her spending proposal does not reach the funding levels that SUNY and our public teaching hospitals desperately need to overcome more than a decade of gross underfunding of SUNY.

“It is well past time for the state to renew its commitment to SUNY and public higher education in New York. SUNY is one of New York’s most prolific economic engines, providing avenues to success for tens of thousands of students annually. Yet, state aid for SUNY has been flat for years, a situation exacerbated by billions in cuts to SUNY since the Great Recession.

“Had the state maintained its 2008 direct state funding level to SUNY, our campuses and teaching hospitals would have received more than $5 billion in additional state support—and more than $7.3 billion accounting for inflation—between 2008 and 2021.

“We appreciate the governor’s inclusion of $1.2 billion for bonuses for health care workers on the front lines of the pandemic in her executive budget. UUP has called for hazard pay for our frontline workers since the beginning of the pandemic. These bonuses bring us closer to that goal.

“While there is funding in the Executive Budget for the Tuition Assistance Program, the Excelsior Scholarship, and child care, the governor’s Executive Budget still leaves SUNY with a desperate need for resources for our campuses and our hospitals.

“If SUNY is to be the greatest public higher education system in the country, it will need significant additional support from the state to make that goal a reality.

“We look forward to working with the governor, the Legislature, SUNY and our coalition partners to ensure that SUNY and SUNY’s public teaching hospitals are funded fairly in the 2022-23 state budget.”

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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