A message from UUP President Fred Kowal regarding the latest legislative session of the New York State Senate and Assembly – received 20 July 2015.
“The New York State Senate and Assembly concluded the 2015 legislative session early in the morning of Friday, June 25. This legislative session was like no other, given the number of high-profile leadership and committee changes that occurred.
Still, UUP was successful in advancing a number of our priorities. The Legislature passed several of our key bills, including the Maintenance of Effort bill—which, if signed by the governor, will bring the state closer to paying its fair share to fund public higher education.
I am also pleased to report that the advocacy efforts of UUP and its coalitions resulted in these wins during the 2015 legislation session (includes budget issues):
● Passage of a bill that allows public employees who served in the military to receive pension credit for military service, regardless of when they served;
● Passage of a bill requiring the governor to submit to the Legislature, as part of the annual Executive Budget, five-year capital plans for the SUNY state-operated campuses and CUNY senior colleges;
● Passage of a bill that prohibits the state from sweeping outstanding SUNY hospital accounts receivable, such as tuition, fees and hospital charges into the general fund;
● The Legislature rejected a proposed 10 percent penalty to campus funding, which would have occurred if campuses failed to submit an approved performance-based funding plan.
● Maintained support for the DREAM Act, which passed the Assembly.
● Defeated the governor’s proposal to cut the SUNY Hospital State Subsidy by nearly $19 million.
● Defeated damaging language that would have opened the door for the privatization of SUNY’s hospitals.
● Increased the funding for the Educational Opportunity Program, Educational Opportunity Centers and ATTAIN Labs.
● Increased SUNY capital program funding.
These and other legislative and budget results are included in a comprehensive legislative summary, which is attached. This session was filled with challenges, but together we were able to successfully advocate for bills that will improve the financial security of our campuses. Despite our hard fought victories, the battle continues.
I want to thank you for your advocacy efforts and ask that you continue this fight with us. We must monitor the implementation of the SUNY Investment and Performance Fund and continue an aggressive organizing campaign. We must take action now to counter the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision to hear the anti-union case, Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association.
We must redouble our efforts to organize and grow this great union. The time to prepare is now.
Together, we can make a difference.”
UUP End of 2015 Session Legislative Chart final pdf