The state Assembly on Saturday unveiled a budget proposal for New York's public college and university system that is meant to boost funding and reject further tuition increases.
At the same time, the Democratic-led chamber wants to provide more funding for non-tuition expenses and spend more on community colleges, while also boosting scholarships at the city and state universities and colleges of New York.
“The Assembly Majority has long recognized that higher education is critical to establishing a pathway to the middle class for New Yorkers,” Speaker Carl Heastie said in a statement. “This year marks five years since we created the Higher Education Road to Success Initiative, and since then we have continued to build on that promise. Our proposed budget will reflect our unwavering commitment to higher education by breaking down even more barriers and putting our students on the path to success.”
At the heart of the proposal is a push to end the so-called "TAP gap" or the cost differential between the maximum award under the Tuition Assistance Program and the cost of tuition. The Assembly proposal would add $50 million meant to end that.
The proposal also rejects tuition increases beyond the 2021 academic year for both state university and city university schools. Tuition at those campuses has increased by 40 percent over the last nine years.
The Assembly also proposed a $20 million Martin Luther King Jr. Fund for non-tuition expenses meant to off-set costs like room and board, fees, transportation and textbooks for low-income students who receive a TAP award.
The state budget is due March 31.