2020-21 New York State Enacted Budget

April 2020

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and its current and future anticipated financial impacts, the 2020-21 Enacted Budget includes significant expanded powers for the state budget director. These powers allow for the potential reduction of appropriation levels and state spending over the course of the fiscal year. We understand that reviews will be quarterly and that the next opportunity for adjustment is July 1. We will of course monitor any budget changes and provide updates to the campus.

The budget allocates funding for a number of University at Albany strategic initiatives and programs. Through its efforts, the University successfully secured both operational and capital funding to support its academic and research mission.

Some of the highlights include:

  • UAlbany’s historical budget practices are undergoing transformation.
  • The budget model for the next fiscal year will drive a more strategic approach to the management of our academic enterprise in the long run.
  • The model to be deployed is being refined in conjunction with the executive team and in consultation with the Deans to be a more rational budget model and process that will allow deans and unit heads to be more tactical in their budget planning, 12-24 months out.

The process under development will assure budget decisions and notifications are complete in advance of the beginning of each fiscal year.

Capital investment of $550 million is included in the budget, comparable to last year's funding level system-wide. These resources are essential to ensuring that our students, faculty and staff have access to state-of-the-art facilities expected of a modern research university.

While there was no specific appropriation for the Schuyler Building project, the University will work closely with SUNY to determine how UAlbany’s critical maintenance allocation can most effectively advance the University’s capital priorities -- the Schuyler Building foremost among them. Our efforts to identify a blend of funding to complete this critical project continue.

Additionally, $300 million ($200 million state share/$100 million campus share) is provided for a new strategic needs Capital Matching Program for priority projects, including major renovations and new construction of academic facilities at the state-operated campuses and statutory colleges. For approved projects, every $1 of campus-generated funds would leverage $2 of state support.

Despite facing a potential funding reduction, UAlbany’s NYSTAR Center of Excellence in Atmospheric and Environmental Prediction and Innovation will again receive $250,000 to continue bringing businesses and researchers together to devise innovative solutions to the problems faced by weather-sensitive industries. This Center, when fully developed, will be home to the largest concentration of atmospheric, climate, and environmental researchers in New York State and one of the largest in the nation, with more than 70 highly regarded faculty, researchers and research staff.

  • The Center for Autism and Related Disabilities at the University at Albany (CARD Albany) is a university-affiliated resource center that brings research and practice together in community settings. The budget funds the Center at $1.74 million, which includes restored funding of $500,000.
  • Just for the Kids (NYKids) within the School of Education is the only New York-focused, evidenced-based school improvement program in the State that compares the performance of equally-resourced and similarly challenged schools, and then identifies the best practices that explain what relates to the "achievement gap" between high-achieving schools and lower-performing schools. This initiative was level-funded at $235,000.
  • The School of Social Welfare received level funding of $210,000 for evaluating the Dwyer Peer-to-Peer Veterans Program that uses new and innovative support interventions to help veterans with PTSD transition and reintegrate back into civilian life.
  • The Center for Women in Government and Civil Society received $100,000 for the Puerto Rican and Hispanic Integration Index that seeks to quantify the moderating effects of nativity status, race/ethnicity and gender in shaping socioeconomic outcomes of Puerto Rican and Hispanic residents of New York State.

The following are School of Public Health initiatives included in the Enacted Budget:

  • $261,600 in level funding for the Public Health Management Leaders of Tomorrow program (PHLOT), established in 2006, that strengthens the public health infrastructure across New York by providing programs (e.g., tuition awards, internship stipends, leadership training and scholarships) designed to offer novel educational opportunities to state and local public health professionals, as well as to the next generation of public health leaders at the School of Public Health.
  • $32,000 for Public Health Live, a monthly webcast series designed to provide continuing education opportunities on public health issues.


Excelsior Scholarship Program

  • Note: The enhanced implementation of the Excelsior Scholarship Program, as proposed in the Executive Budget, was omitted in the Enacted Budget.
  • Subject to appropriation and based on availability of funds, the Higher Education Services Corporation (HESC) is provided authority to establish application procedures and a method of selecting recipients to eligible students for a last dollar award of up to $5,500 (or actual tuition)  
  • An applicant must:
    • be a resident of NYS and have resided in NYS for 12 continuous months prior to the beginning of the term;
    • be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen;
    • have either graduated from high school in the United States, earned a high school equivalency diploma, or passed a federally approved “Ability to Benefit” test, as defined by the Commissioner of the State Education Department;
    • have a combined federal adjusted gross income of $125,000 or less;
    • be pursuing an undergraduate degree at a SUNY or CUNY college, including community colleges and the statutory colleges at Cornell University and Alfred University;
    • be enrolled in at least 12 credits per term and complete at least 30 credits each year (successively), applicable toward his or her degree program;
    • if attended college prior to the 2019-20 academic year, have earned at least 30 credits each year (successively), applicable toward his or her degree program prior to applying for an Excelsior Scholarship;
    • be in a non-default status on a student loan made under any NYS or federal education loan program or on the repayment of any NYS award;
    • be in compliance with the terms of the service condition(s) imposed by a NYS award that you have previously received; and
    • execute a Contract agreeing to reside in NYS for the length of time the award was received, and, if employed during such time, be employed in NYS.

Predictable Tuition/Maintenance of Effort (MOE)

  • Note: The Enacted Budget omits the extension of Predictable Tuition and Maintenance of Effort (MOE) to 2024-25, as proposed in the Executive Budget.
  • The SUNY Board of Trustees is authorized to increase Resident Undergraduate tuition by a maximum of $200/year from 2019/20 to 2020/21
  • The Maintenance of Effort (MOE) provision, enacted with the 2011/12 budget, stipulates that the State shall provide funding at a level equal to or greater than the amount of funding provided in the 2011/12 state fiscal year, starting in 2017/18 and ending in 2020/21
    • State responsibility to repay SUNY for paying the Excelsior Scholarship Program Tuition Credit was added to this MOE last year
  • Campuses continue to be responsible for the SUNY TAP Gap/Tuition Credit, which requires campuses to cover the difference between SUNY's current Resident Undergraduate Tuition Rate and $5,000


  • SUNY will receive approximately $708 million in direct state tax support, similar to last year; UAlbany is expected to receive approximately $56.4 million in direct state tax support for state-operated campuses, similar to last year’s level 
  • $18 million for a sixth round of the SUNY Investment and Performance Fund
  • Level funding of $32.2 million for the Education Opportunity Program (EOP)
  • Restoration of $150,000 for the Hispanic Leadership Institute, for a total of $350,000, similar to last year
  • Restoration of $700,000 for the Small Business Development Centers (SBDC), for a total of $2.67 million, similar to last year
  • Restoration of $600,000 for Graduate Diversity Fellowships, for a total of $6.6 million, similar to last year
  • Restoration of $500,000 for Mental Health Services/Tele-counseling Network, similar to last year's level
  • Mother Nature Bond Act -- approves bringing forward a $3 billion tax-exempt general obligation bond to voters in November 2020. The proceeds, to be managed by the State Comptroller, would be utilized to finance environmental improvements that preserve, enhance and restore NYS natural resources while reducing the impact of climate change.
  • One-time funding of approximately $5.6 million to offset the one-time costs of recently settled police-related union contract items at SUNY; a second phase of direct state tax support to offset the costs of recent salary contracts was not included

SUNY Capital

  • Funding was maintained at $550 million for SUNY-wide critical maintenance, with a $396.6 million lump sum for high priority critical maintenance projects to be distributed by the State University Construction Fund and $153.4 million allocated to state-operated campuses via formula, of which $9.72 million is included for UAlbany
  • The amount UAlbany will receive under the $396.6 million lump is uncertain at this time, though we believe many of our projects are well-timed to move quickly
  • Additionally, $300 million ($200 million state share/$100 million campus share) is provided for a new strategic needs Capital Matching Program for priority projects, including major renovations and new construction of academic facilities at the state-operated campuses and statutory colleges. For approved projects, every $1 of campus-generated funds would leverage $2 of state support.
  • Note: Language is included which amends the Infrastructure Investment Act to include the State University Construction Fund as an authorized entity to enter into design-build contracts for projects of $10 million or more. Further interpretation of the language, as well as its potential impact on the delivery of SUNY capital projects is forthcoming from SUNY.

Student Financial Aid and Support

Tuition Assistance Program (TAP)

  • TAP is funded at $860 million, approximately $88 million less than last year's level

Opportunity Programs

  • The Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) is level-funded at $32.2 million
  • The Science and Technology Entry Program (STEP) is level-funded at $15.8 million
  • The Collegiate Science and Technology Entry Program (C-STEP) is level-funded at $12 million
  • The Liberty Partnership Program is level-funded at $18.4 million

Requirements for Student Loan Servicers

  • Empowers the Department of Financial Services to create minimum standards that student debt consultants must follow

The following economic development programs were also included in the Enacted Budget:

  • $150 million for a tenth round of Regional Economic Development Council (REDC) funding for investment in innovative plans for regional job creation and community development; 
  • $10.6 million for the Centers of Excellence (COE), a reduction of approximately $1.7 million from last year's level; UAlbany's COE was level-funded at $250,000;
  • $12.37 million for the Centers for Advanced Technology (CAT) program, a reduction of approximately $1.4 million from last year’s level;
  • Excelsior Jobs Program/START-UP NY extended through 2025; and
  • $44.9 million for the Stem Cell and Innovation Fund

Note: Funding for another round of the NYSUNY 2020 challenge grant program was omitted in the Enacted Budget.

To compare the Enacted Budget to the details of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s proposed Executive Budget, click here.