Legislative Budget Agreement

March 29, 2006 | News from the Chancellor

The New York State legislative leaders have reached agreement on budget restorations and enhancements to the FY2006-2007 Executive Budget for The City University of New York.

Operating Assistance  For the senior colleges, the budget agreement provides for a total of $67.5 million in additional state tax-levy support above the executive budget and includes:

  • $45.7 million in additional state aid to eliminate the proposed $300 tuition increase.
  • $21.8 million in additional operating aid, which includes $1.5 million in support for the SEEK program and $250,000 for services for students with disabilities.

The proposed funding for the senior colleges fully funds the CUNY COMPACT and will enable the University to implement the investment programs outlined by the colleges in the University Budget Request.

For the community colleges, the budget agreement provides for a total of $5.8 million in additional state tax-levy support above the executive budget and includes:

  • $4.7 million in additional state aid associated with a $75 increase in base aid funding per fte.
  • $1.0 million in additional state aid for contract courses and a $76,000 increase for the College Discovery program.

The proposed funding for the community colleges reflects an overall increase of $75 in base aid per fte. CUNY had sought an increase in base aid of $150 per fte. The budget agreement calls for the additional $75 to be made available next year.

Financial Aid  The legislative budget agreement addresses the University’s concerns regarding the Tuition Assistance Program (TAP). Specifically, the budget agreement rejects the proposal to raise from 12 to 15 the number of credits a student must be registered for to be eligible for a full TAP award and the proposal requiring colleges to pre-finance TAP awards for recipient of GEDs.

Capital Budget  The legislative leaders agreed to provide $300 million in capital funds for CUNY senior and community colleges, consistent with the University’s capital budget request. Further details will be available on the CUNY web site.

Next Steps  The Legislature is drafting and enacting the enabling budget bills. The actual bills will include accompanying language regarding legislative intent. The Governor has 10 days to consider the budget recommendations once the Legislature has acted. Therefore, the process is not over and we remain in close touch with the Governor’s Office and the Division of the Budget.

I am, however, deeply grateful to the trustees, members of the chancellery, the college presidents, faculty, students, alumni, business and labor leaders who worked together for many months to help move the University budget forward. In particular, the bi-partisan support of Albany legislative leaders and officials for the COMPACT and its inherent principles played an essential role in all that has been accomplished thus far. I will keep you informed as we achieve further progress in the period ahead.

Best Wishes,

Matthew Goldstein
Chancellor
City University of New York