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From the desk of Assemblyman Jim Conte: August 17, 2011

Conte: SUNY 2020, a Sound Investment In Our Future

The signing of SUNY 2020 into law by Governor Cuomo marks an important victory for the state and particularly Long Island. The program, which I have long advocated for as a member of the Assembly Higher Education Committee, is designed to enhance investments throughout New York’s 64-campus university system, create jobs through public-private partnerships and establish a rational tuition policy.

The investment opportunities that SUNY 2020 creates will help to ensure that SUNY Stony Brook, Farmingdale College and other state universities are given the ability to compete academically on a global level by having the resources to invest in top professors and research professionals. These investments will help to attract the best and brightest students and will result in the type of research and development we need to create new and innovative jobs.

SUNY 2020 will also grow jobs by helping the establishment of public-private partnerships, partnerships like the Broad Hollow Bioscience Park at Farmingdale State College that has the potential to create over 800 new jobs and will help make Long Island’s public universities and colleges local engines of economic growth and incubators for job creation.

Importantly, the program bill also provides students and parents with the increased security of planning for predictable and fair school costs by setting a rational tuition policy. This tuition policy will allow our universities to make greater investments in their students and the surrounding community, while ensuring that parents and students are not hit with dramatic tuition increases.

As a SUNY Stony Brook alumni and a father of three, I am proud that I could help pass this important policy, one that will go a long way toward strengthening the state’s university system and create local employment opportunities all while setting a tuition policy that will make obtaining a higher education affordable for all New Yorkers.