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For Immediate Release
May 3, 2023

Statement from United University Professions President Frederick E. Kowal on the Enacted 2023-2024 State Budget

““After nearly a year of relentless advocacy which saw us crisscross the state, our work has resulted in one of the largest budgets for SUNY in years—which was very much needed after decades of austerity. Our voices were heard.

“We are grateful to Gov. Hochul, Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins, Speaker Heastie, Higher Education committee chairs Toby Ann Stavisky and Pat Fahy, and their legislative colleagues for making SUNY a priority in the 2023-2024 state budget by providing significantly increased funding for our university system.

“By doing so, the Governor has kept her promise to champion public higher education in New York. SUNY can now move forward, investing in high-demand programs and hiring more full-time faculty, while increasing enrollment and providing a superior, affordable and accessible education for New Yorkers.

“We thank the Governor and state legislators for providing $163 million in operating aid to campuses, $53 million to hire more SUNY full-time faculty and $75 million in transformational funding. We look forward to working with the SUNY chancellor to ensure this funding is allocated based on campus need. Nineteen SUNY campuses across the state are facing multimillion-dollar deficits. ”

“We also appreciate measures taken to help address the untenable financial situations faced by our public teaching hospitals, specifically providing debt service relief, a $72 million increase in Disproportionate Share Hospital (DSH) payments, $500 million more in distressed hospital funds and a 7.5% increase in the Medicaid in-patient hospital reimbursement rate.

“These gains will deliver a needed boost for our public teaching hospitals—especially SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University in Brooklyn, which provides vital health care services for tens of thousands of Medicaid patients.

“Taken in total, this funding will go far to benefit our students, our patients and the dedicated employees of SUNY, who have been working with far too little for far too long.

“UUP looks forward to working with the governor and the Legislature to ensure that the SUNY system continues to deliver an affordable, accessible, high-quality education to New York students in every corner of the state, and superior, cutting-edge health care to all in need. This budget moves us further down that path.”

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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