With the passage of the Deficit Reduction Package, New York witnessed another example of the back-room deals made by three men from New York City – the Governor, Senate Majority Leader and the Assembly Speaker. Recently, SUNY Trustees increased tuition by $310.00 per semester. By passing this bill, 90% of the increased tuition goes to the State’s General Fund. Only 10% of the students’ payment benefits the colleges, such as SUNY Plattsburgh.
In addition, this legislation increased the covered lives assessment resulting in an estimated $200-$400 annual increase in health premiums paid by individuals and small businesses.
It is disconcerting that during this fiscal crisis, the Governor and Leaders of both houses chose to raise taxes and shift a disproportionate share of the financial burden to the middle class and small businesses. I will continue to advocate for the North Country and hope, over the next several weeks, the Governor and the Legislature will work together to produce a fiscally responsible budget that benefits all New Yorkers.