SUNY/CUNY State Maintenance of Effort
As a constituent who cares deeply about public higher education, I urge you to pass S.3549 (Stavisky)/A.1183 (Glick). This legislation amends the current, inadequate definition of the SUNY/CUNY State Maintenance of Effort (MOE) to include mandatory costs (collective bargaining, energy and other inflationary costs) for SUNY and CUNY four-year campuses and the SUNY hospitals. This legislation also provides reimbursement for a portion of the Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) Credit.
The 2017-18 Enacted New York State Budget amended the definition of the MOE to include a requirement that the state reimburse SUNY and CUNY for the cost of the Excelsior Tuition Credit. While the state is required to reimburse campuses for the cost of the Excelsior Tuition Credit, they are not required to provide public institutions of higher education with funding to cover the cost of the "TAP GAP" — the tuition credit associated with students receiving the maximum TAP award. The cost of the TAP GAP for 2019-20 is upwards of $150 million and will grow with every tuition increase. This legislation will expand the current MOE definition to require the state to pay its fair share for public higher education and provide funding to SUNY and CUNY to cover the increased TAP GAP stemming from tuition increases authorized pursuant to the enacted budget. The bill further provides the systems with much needed fiscal relief and preserves funding generated as a result of tuition increases for the hiring of full-time faculty and other student supports.
The exclusion of an enhanced MOE endangers the future financial viability of our four-year public education institutions, forcing these facilities to unfairly absorb these costs and make difficult programming cuts that negatively impact students. We cannot expect our public universities to provide the quality education that our students deserve with the same level of state funding year-after-year.
Accordingly, I urge you to pass S.3549/A.1183 and institute an enhanced maintenance of effort for SUNY and CUNY four-year campuses and SUNY hospitals that will cover their mandatory costs. The enactment of this legislation is a critical step in preserving and enhancing the quality of education offered at these institutions.
Thank you for your consideration of this important matter. I respectfully ask that you bring up this issue with your conference and I look forward to a reply to my letter.
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