Statement from the SUNY Student Assembly on Governor Cuomo’s Veto of S.1596A
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – December 19, 2017
Contact: Arthur Ramsay (email@example.com, 631-972-5097)
The SUNY Student Assembly is deeply disappointed by Governor Cuomo’s decision to veto bill S.1596A which calls for a true Maintenance of Effort.
The legislation, which passed both houses of the legislature overwhelmingly this past spring, called on the state to shoulder more of the responsibility for mandatory cost increases in SUNY and CUNY.
Without this commitment from the state, these increased costs will be borne by already overburdened students.
Earlier this month, the Student Assembly, in partnership with the CUNY University Student Senate and the New York Public Interest Research Group (NYPIRG), delivered 25,000 signatures to the Governor from students across SUNY and CUNY, urging him to sign the true Maintenance of Effort provisions into law. We have not received a response to our petition.
It is unfortunate that Governor Cuomo has decided to veto legislation with such broad support from the legislature and stakeholders across our state. In his veto message, the Governor indicates that it would be more responsible for Maintenance of Effort to be considered as part of the budgeting process. This is the exact rationale offered by the Governor when he vetoed similar legislation in 2015. He failed to push for this true Maintenance of Effort in both the 2016 and 2017 state budgets.
The Governor also cites his fear that potentially looming federal cuts would make spending money on Maintenance of Effort “irresponsible”. These looming cuts, and cuts that have already been enacted to the Pell Grant and Perkins Loan program, are precisely why increasing New York’s commitment to higher education is more pressing than ever before.
We strongly urge the Governor to include Maintenance of Effort funding in his proposed budget to the legislature, and to use his political influence in the budget process to advocate for its inclusion in the final budget. We hope to have the chance to work with him and his team on behalf of over one million SUNY and CUNY students who are counting on him.
About the SUNY Student Assembly
The Student Assembly of the State University of New York (SUNY SA) is the recognized student government organization representing the nearly 600,000 students of the State University of New York. Comprised of student leaders elected by their peers from across SUNY’s 64 campuses, SUNY SA is committed to empowering students throughout the state, and ensuring the representation of its members on the state and national level, as well as throughout the SUNY system.