New Initiatives

Highlights

The Executive Budget includes:

  • Making SUNY and CUNY “tuition-free” for middle-class families. This proposal would create the Excelsior Scholarship, New York’s tuition-free college degree program. Under this program, resident undergraduate students must be on track to finish an associate’s degree in two years or a bachelor’s degree in four years. While details of the program are still being learned, students must complete 15 credits per term in their program(s) of study. The program would be phased in over three years, beginning with New York residents with an adjusted gross income of up to $100,000 in the fall of 2017, $110,000 in 2018 and $125,000 in 2019.
     
  • College accountability for exorbitant tuition rates (largely affects private colleges and universities and proprietary colleges). This proposal would hold colleges in New York accountable if they raise tuition and fees above a certain threshold and would limit annual tuition and fee increases to either $500 or the three year average of the Higher Education Price Index (HEPI), whichever is greater. Starting in FY 2019, colleges and universities that exceed the tuition and fee increase threshold would disqualify newly enrolled students from receiving a Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) award.
     
  • The creation of a new Cyber Incident Response Team to provide cybersecurity support to state entities, local governments, critical infrastructure and schools. The team will strengthen cyber preparedness and response through outreach, coordinated exercises, and best practices at non-executive State agencies, Authorities, local governments, and critical infrastructure. Housed within the DHSES Office of Counter Terrorism, the team will be the first responder to reported cyber incidents and will work with the targeted organization to regain normal operations.
     
  • $5M is proposed for a pilot program that would provide recent college graduates with homebuyer assistance to remain in Upstate New York, especially in downtown areas. The program will incentivize homeownership with subsidized low interest loans, down payment assistance and homebuyer education to encourage recent graduates to remain in and revitalize Upstate, downtown communities.
     
  • Expanding the Inspector General’s jurisdiction to any organization or foundation formed for the benefit of, or controlled by, SUNY or CUNY that have control of, manage or receive more than $50,000 annually (this does not include any student-run organization comprised entirely of students formed for advancing a student objective). Additionally, the Executive Budget would require the Inspector General to oversee implementation and enforcement of financial control policies at SUNY, CUNY, and all affiliated nonprofit organizations and foundations meeting the $50,000 threshold. Separately, a Chief Procurement Officer would also be appointed for the entire State.
     
  • A requirement that CUNY utilize 10 percent of annual foundation revenue to support tuition assistance programs at the CUNY system. While there is no direct and immediate impact on the SUNY system, this is in reaction to current findings related to CUNY Foundations.
     
  • $35.4 million for the New York State Supportive Housing Program, Solutions to End Homelessness Program and Operational Support for AIDS Housing.
     
  • Proposed expansion of ridesharing services to operate outside of the City of New York, which includes DMV oversight.
     
  • Proposed oversight and regulation of student loan servicers by the Department of Financial Services.