WNY Delegation Fights for UB 2020

March 18, 2011 Updated Mar 18, 2011 at 6:36 PM EDT

By Kyla Igoe

March 18, 2011 Updated Mar 18, 2011 at 6:36 PM EDT

Buffalo, NY (WKBW) - UB 2020 is a plan that's been called an economic catalyst for Western New York. Just a few days ago, leaders in the New York State Assembly and Senate Higher Education Committees suggested UB 2020 was going nowhere, but Friday local lawmakers say that's not the case.

"It will be in the senate budget but all the assembly members need to talk to Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver. So they can see this is something that is needed for Western New York," said Senator Mark Grisanti, who is sponsoring the bill.

The newly modified bill:
-Only applies to the University at Buffalo
-Gives the university the ability to set tuition, but increases would be capped at $375
-15 to 20% of the tuition revenue would go towards scholarships
-Low income students who qualify will be locked in at the current tuition rate.

According to Grisanti, UB 2020 could possibly include other SUNY schools including Stony Brook, Binghamton, and Albany. He remains confident the bill's new changes will help it get passed.
The Western New York Delegation's major obstacle will be in the assembly, since the bill has failed there in the past. Earlier in March, the bill passed in the senate. The next two weeks will be crucial for local lawmakers as they try to seek more support from downstate lawmakers to include UB 2020 into the budget. The state budget is due April 1st.