Raia To Paterson: Don’t Float SUNY Maritime Cut

Lawmaker faults gov for budget cut affecting cadet scholarships at 135-year-old college
March 6, 2009

Andrew Raia (R,I,C-East Northport) today criticized Governor Paterson for his proposed budget cuts to the SUNY Maritime College Cadet Appointment Program (CAP). The estimated $250,000 in reductions would effectively eliminate the scholarship fund for young people in the 9th Assembly District, denying potential recipients the opportunity to attend the nation’s first federally sanctioned college to offer commercial nautical instruction.

The SUNY Maritime program has been operating successfully since it was created in 2002, providing four-year scholarships to 154 current and former students. SUNY Maritime College has been ranked among schools offering the best engineering programs in the United States, according to U.S. News & World Report, and one of six colleges in the nation offering naval architecture. Assemblyman Raia has sponsored a CAP recipient every year he has served in the state Legislature.

“Governor Paterson, these cuts in next year’s budget are simply unacceptable,” said Raia. “The young men and women advancing their nautical careers at SUNY Maritime College deserve our support. Instead of cutting your own salary, the salaries of your executive staff, or curtailing your extravagant travel schedule, you’ve chosen to punish New Yorkers training to patrol our shores and ship our goods. I am outraged over your divestment of Long Island’s higher education commitments. Governor, cancel these cuts.”

SUNY Maritime College boasts a 100-percent placement rate for its graduates. Through CAP, each member of the Assembly may nominate one resident of his or her district each year. Applicants must be legal citizens, graduates of a New York State high school, demonstrate academic and leadership excellence, and meet the college’s rigorous admission standards. A copy of Assemblyman Raia’s letter to Governor Paterson is available with this press release.