Buffalo, NY (WKBW) -- UB 2020 has been depending on this SUNY CUNY Empowerment bill. It failed twice in the senate, but Western New York legislators and the governor say they will continue to fight for the crucial legislation for UB. However, it's unclear what the next step in that fight will be. The bill, which is the backbone of UB 2020, is dead for now. There were objections across party lines and throughout the state.John Simpson, President of UB, says it is very disappointing."
The SUNY empowerment plan would allow the university to raise tuition annually, keep the money in the schools, and enter partnerships with private companies. It's something that becomes more crucial every year that universities lose state funding, according to Simpson. He tells us UB is immediatly dealing with more than 18 million dollars or 10 percent cut in state support this year, and that will affect the quality of the education UB provides. Simpson says he doesn't know how UB will continue without the state backing. The long term plan, vision, and aspiration of what he thinks the university can be hasn't changed, but how UB can get there has.
Governor David Paterson says he does not believe any details have been agreed on,but there is a general framework to give universities more independence from albany. The Governor says the SUNY empowerment plan is the most widely misunderstood subject in Albany. Governor Paterson says he believes that if there is a silver lining in delivering a late budget, it would be that there may be a chance to approach legislators the in non budget process and persuade them before the end of the year to vote for the SUNY bill.
Democratic candidate for governor, Andrew Cuomo, was in town today. He says UB 2020 should become a reality, and he would continue the fight for UB 2020 if he was elected governor.