The latest development in UB 2020 has Western New York leaders shocked and dismayed. UB 2020 is not included in any budget proposal from the Governor, Senate or Assembly.
It's the latest set back in a plan that is supposed to pump billions of dollars into the Western New York community. It would also allow UB to have more control over tuition money and spark a massive campus expansion.
Earlier this month, it passed the State Senate but the Assembly has not yet approved it. Now, the plan is not even mentioned in any budget proposal, leaving leaders concerned it will be killed.
Senate leader, Dean Skelos said he is still committed to getting it passed. He, along with Sheldon Silver and Governor Cuomo are in meetings discussing next year's budget. Cuomo said those talks are going well as leaders try to close the $10 billion deficit.
"This is a very, very difficult budget. Ten billion dollars is a big number. The state of the national economy, the state economy, these are very difficult choices. Frankly, I think it shows extraordinary good will and leadership by both of these two men that we are where we are today," Cuomo said.
Governor Cuomo has not yet commented specifically on UB 2020 but it is known that Sheldon Silver has spoken out against it in the past
Local lawmakers said they would begin to lobby with their colleagues to get UB 2020 back on track. Senate and Assembly members are now in the midst of joint budget meeting this week, but time is running out.
Lawmakers are hoping to have a budget passed by the April 1 deadline.