1 Education Drive

Room F-3293 Garden City, New York 11530

NYSUT, UUP, and PSC-CUNY at Higher Education Lobby Day

On February 6th, NCCFT officers Faren Siminoff, David Stern, Suzanne Kaebnick and PAC Co-Chair Caitlin Thurber participated in NYSUT’s Higher Education Lobbying Day. This year, NYSUT, the UUP and PSC-CUNY organized teams with members from each union to lobby New York state legislators. This year’s initial executive budget proposal from Gov. Hochul is flat for higher education, but we asked legislators for significantly more funding for SUNY four-year colleges, SUNY community colleges, and CUNY schools. We also asked for earmarked funding; while last year’s New York state budget did allocate a significant increase in funding for higher education compared to previous years, it was not distributed, by SUNY, evenly or to campuses in most need. Specific requests:

  • At SUNY Community Colleges: 22.7 M for additional base aid; 99 M to cover one third of the state’s 40% funding obligation to community colleges, and 100 M for mental health and academic support.

  • At SUNY: 134 M to close deficits at 18 SUNY campuses; 175 M for SUNY teaching hospitals and 200 M for bridge funding at SUNY Downstate for post COVID financial challenges; 110 M to enhance academic programs and services at four-year campuses; 30.5 M for mental health and academic support at SUNY four-year campuses.

  • At CUNY:  341 M for 2,306 full-time faculty at senior colleges, 24.5 M for graduate education support, 44 M for hires at CUNY community colleges, and 101.7 M to to cover one third of the state’s 40% funding obligation to community colleges; and 62 M at four-year schools and 24 M at community colleges for mental health and academic support.

  • New Tax Revenue to pay for investments that will not burden most New Yorkers, and will create a more equitable distribution of wealth, addressing fiscal needs of New York residents, and creating revenue for public services, education, health care and infrastructure improvements.  The bills are: 

  1. The Capital Gains Bill (affecting individuals earning over $400,000 and joint filers earning over $500,000) 
  2. The Progressive Income Tax Bill (new state income tax brackets affecting individuals earning over $450,000 and joint filers earning over $500,000)
  3. Corporate Tax Reforms (increases tax rates for corporate profits over $2.5 M, with additional brackets for higher profits; also aims to close loopholes)
  4. The Billionaires Tax:  Taxes unrealized gains of stocks and investment portfolios, requiring billionaires to pay income tax rates on these investment gains annually.

Several of our legislators are themselves graduates of SUNY or CUNY schools.  We reminded legislators of the impact of public higher education in developing the next generation’s skills, in raising the tax base, and in the unparalleled financial return for the state that investing in public higher education is.

Collectively, your NCCFT representatives met with about 20 New York state legislators! If you would like to participate in NCCFT PAC committee actions — like lobbying, door knocking, or phone banking — we need more members!  Write to communications@nccft.org.  Also, see the NYSUT Member Action Center at https://mac.nysut.org/

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