A plan to increase tuition for New York college students at the public college and university system is off the table. But now talk is turning toward funding.

State University of New York Chancellor John King says the state’s public college and university system needs more revenue and he’s been looking to the state budget.

"We want to make sure that we maintain affordability and high quality and that means we need predictable and reliable funding," King told reporters in the Southern Tier earlier Thursday.

But a key source of funding is off the negotiating table. Sources familiar with the talks say in-state tuition for students at both SUNY and the City University of New York systems will not increase as initially proposed this year by Gov. Kathy Hochul.

"Our hope is the enacted budget will include provisions that will deliver predictable, reliable funding streams that will allow us to provide quality education for our students," King said. 

It’s not clear yet how much money both the SUNY and CUNY systems will see in the budget. New York's budget was due April 1, and more than three weeks later it's yet to be finalized. 

Hochul had initially called for linking tuition to the higher education index, a move that was rejected by top Democrats in the state Legislature. 

Tuition for out-of-state students is expected to increase. State Assembly Higher Education Committee Chair Pat Fahy acknowledges public higher education has struggled financially.

"We know that there is a serious need in order to maintain these world class institutions," Fahy said. 

Declining enrollment in the wake of the pandemic as well as construction costs for campuses have strained financial resources.

"They have had very little over the last few years, and in other areas triple digit, in the construction areas," Fahy said. 

Republican Assemblyman Matt Slater, meanwhile, says New York officials need to take a broader look at the cost of living in New York.

"I think it’s a fine balance, but I think at the end of the day we have to look at the priorities moving forward from an affordability stand point, whether it’s a college student, whether it’s for newly weds, whether it’s for seniors trying to retire here," Slater said. "I think the affordability crisis runs the entire gamut, it effects every demographic."