A proposal to increase tuition for New York students in the state's public college and university systems is off the table in the budget negotiations.
But lawmakers and Gov. Kathy Hochul acknowledge more funding for the system is needed as they seek to close out the budget in the coming days.
"The entire effort has been to increase SUNY operating aid," said Assembly Higher Education Committee Chair Pat Fay. "We're hoping we're getting increased funds for SUNY and CUNY to increase the operating aid. They've had very little over the last few years."
It was not clear Tuesday evening how much money may go toward the two public higher education systems in the state; a budget is now more than three weeks late in New York.
Hochul had initially proposed this year a plan to hike tuition at the State University of New York and the City University of New York by linking it to the higher education price index. But the measure found little support among Democrats who control the state Legislature.
In-state students at SUNY and CUNY will not have a tuition increase in the budget. But a tentative agreement could lead to tuition increases for out-of-state students, sources familiar with the plan said this week.
Fahy pointed to the needs at SUNY campuses across the state to improve facilities and other long-term expenses.
Hochul, too, believes more funding is needed to bolster public higher education, a push that comes as some colleges have struggled with enrollment as well as the aftershocks of the COVID-19 pandemic.
"It has been disinvested in for decades," Hochul said. "I want this to be a shining star for all New Yorkers, a place to be proud of. We have to do that with resources."