Committee on
Higher Education



December 15, 2004

The Honorable Sheldon Silver, Speaker
New York State Assembly
State Capitol, Room 349
Albany, New York 12248

Dear Speaker Silver:

On behalf of the members of the Assembly Committee on Higher Education, I respectfully submit to you the Committee’s 2004 Annual Report which highlights our activities over the last year.

The 2004 Legislative Session was a productive one, although the final approved budget fell far short of the Committee’s goals due to the Governor’s vetoes of much of the Legislature’s restorations and initiatives in Higher Education. Throughout the budget process the Committee worked to ensure that vital higher education programs were adequately funded and that students were not shortchanged. The Governor’s proposal to restructure the Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) and slash its appropriation by $302 million was rejected and the program was preserved for the next budget cycle. The Executive recommendation to cut base aid for community colleges by 15 percent was rejected, as was the proposed five percent across the board cut in funding for opportunity programs. Unfortunately, the inability to override vetoes of these last two restorations resulted in these cuts being made to community colleges and opportunity programs.

The Committee also worked to increase capital funding for the State and City university systems and modified an Executive proposal to provide capital funding for private colleges and universities throughout the State. This capital funding was also vetoed by the Governor, necessitating delays in critical maintenance at our public universities and hampering economic growth in the private sector. The Committee will redouble its efforts in the coming session to reverse this negative trend in State support for higher education.

The Committee’s work was not limited to fiscal concerns, however. In fact, the 2004 Legislative Session addressed several pressing issues. Individuals performing clinical laboratory testing will be required to meet minimum standards of competency in education and experience to help ensure the integrity of medical tests under a new law. Public safety will also be enhanced through a measure empowering the State Education Department to take into account the misconduct of a professional in another jurisdiction before granting licensure in New York. Those professionals who commit crimes or fail to adhere to ethical standards in another State won’t find a safe haven in New York. Finally, students at the City University of New York will have better police protection due to a new statute providing the Board of Trustees with the power to designate campus officers as peace officers.

Much has been accomplished this year, but much still remains to be done. Thank you for your leadership and steadfast support of our State’s higher education community. I am proud to have had the opportunity to work with you and my colleagues toward our shared goal of ensuring that our system of public and private education remains the best in the nation.


Ron Canestrari
Higher Education Committee




Ron Canestrari, Chairman

Committee Members


Audrey I. Pheffer
Richard N. Gottfried
Joseph D. Morelle
William Magee
Steve Englebright
N. Nick Perry
Anthony S. Seminerio
Joan K. Christensen
Scott Stringer
Kevin A. Cahill
Deborah J. Glick
Mark Weprin
Patricia A. Eddington
Rhoda Jacobs
Darrel J. Aubertine
Barbara Lifton

Joel M. Miller, Ranking Minority Member
Robert G. Prentiss
Marc W. Butler
Brian M. Kolb
Michael J. Fitzpatrick
James D. Conte
Majority Staff

Sabrina M. Ty, Principal Legislative Coordinator
Mark Casellini, Principal Analyst
Deborah Stevens, Committee Assistant
Ami Schnauber, Committee Director
Nancy Jordan, Committee Clerk
Laura Inglis, Program and Counsel Executive Secretary



    1. Budget Highlights

      1. Community Colleges
      2. SUNY State Operated Colleges and CUNY Senior Colleges
      3. Independent Colleges and Universities
      4. Financial Aid
    2. Legislative Highlights

      1. Community Colleges
      2. City University of New York
      3. State University of New York

    1. Legislative Highlights


  5. OUTLOOK FOR 2005

Professions Licensed or Certified by the Board of Regents

2004 Summary of Action On All Bills Referred to The Committee on Higher Education


The Committee on Higher Education is responsible for the initiation and review of legislation relevant to higher education and the professions in New York State. It is primarily concerned with policy initiatives affecting the State University of New York (SUNY), the City University of New York (CUNY), the independent colleges and universities of New York, proprietary vocational schools, student financial aid, and the licensed professions. However, because of the complex and comprehensive nature of New York’s system of higher education, the Committee has also been involved in shaping legislation in such diverse public policy fields as health care, economic and workforce development, technology, capital financing, and elementary and secondary education.

The New York State system of higher education has been heralded for decades for its quality and comprehensive service to the public with a full range of academic, professional, and vocational programs. The three components of this system include the State University of New York (SUNY), the City University of New York (CUNY), and the numerous independent colleges and universities, proprietary colleges and schools located within New York State.

In addition to providing support to the state-operated campuses of SUNY and the senior college programs of the City University, New York State contributes financially to community colleges and provides direct aid to independent colleges and universities. The State also demonstrates its commitment to higher education through funding the country’s largest state-supported Tuition Assistance Program (TAP).

The Committee on Higher Education also monitors the ongoing activities of the 44 professions, which the State Education Department (SED) is charged with licensing and regulating. Through careful consideration of legislation affecting the professions and through the monitoring of the professional discipline functions of the State Education and Health Departments, the Committee endeavors to protect the health, safety, and welfare of the public and to ensure the maintenance of high standards and competence within the professional realm.

This report summarizes the activities and achievements of the Assembly Committee on Higher Education in each of its major areas of responsibility during the 2004 legislative session.


A. Budget Highlights

The 2004-05 Executive Budget proposed a total of $337 million in cuts to Higher Education. Included in these cuts was a decrease of $302 million in funding for the Tuition Assistance Program (TAP), a five percent cut to Opportunity Programs and a 15 percent per Full-Time Equivalent (FTE) decrease in base aid for SUNY and CUNY Community Colleges. Failure to come to an agreement with the Executive resulted in a bipartisan budget that restored many of these cuts to Higher Education. The 2004-05 budget approved by the legislature included a total of over $320 million in restorations for higher education programs throughout New York State. This funding was vetoed by the Governor, and the Assembly fell one vote short of overriding these vetoes.

  1. Community Colleges

    This year, the Executive proposed decreasing state support for community colleges by $115 for each FTE student. Base aid constitutes the State’s responsibility for its share of community college financing and is divided among the schools through a formula that accounts for each FTE student. Recognizing the importance of the State’s support of community colleges, the Assembly restored academic year funding of $25.75 million for Community College base aid, and provided an additional $11.2 in funding. The Governor vetoed this funding for community colleges, totaling $36.95 million.

    In addition to restoring base aid levels, the Assembly also worked to maintain funding for other important community college programs. The Assembly restored $38,000 for the College Discovery Program and $548,000 for the Search for Education, Elevation and Knowledge (SEEK) Program at CUNY. Unfortunately, the Governor vetoed these restorations as well. Funding for these programs has been an ongoing struggle that dates back to 1995, when the Governor first proposed their elimination. Currents funding for these programs remain at the 2000-01 levels.

  2. SUNY State Operated Colleges and CUNY Senior Colleges

    Expanding access to public universities continues to be a high priority for the Assembly Higher Education Committee. In 1995, the Executive first proposed eliminating highly successful access and opportunity programs at SUNY and CUNY. Each year for the past nine years the Legislature has worked to restore these programs for the educationally and economically disadvantaged. Four years ago, the Legislature was successful in restoring each of the programs to their 1994 level. While that funding increase did not reflect the rate of inflation over the past several years, the base budget for these programs no longer contained a 25 percent cut across the board. This year, the Assembly restored a total of $3.2 million for opportunity programs, which the Governor then vetoed.

    The Executive proposal to reduce funding for the Science and Technology Entry Program (STEP) and the Collegiate Science and Technology Entry Program (CSTEP) by $325,000 was rejected by the Legislature and funding was fully restored to the 2003-2004 levels. Additionally, the Executive proposed a five percent cut in the amount of $820,000 for the Education Opportunity Program (EOP), which the Legislature fully restored. Restorations made by the Assembly for STEP, CSTEP and EOP would have provided a solid foundation for these vital services. Unfortunately, due to the Governor’s vetoes, these opportunity programs will be operating at their 2000-2001 levels.

    Additional funding to augment the capital plans at the State and City universities was added in the budget passed by the Legislature. These funds, $460.4 million for SUNY and $263 million for CUNY, would have greatly assisted in providing increased flexibility to address critical maintenance issues, but were unfortunately vetoed by the Governor. Included within the Legislature’s additions to the operating budgets for the public university system was $58 million for SUNY and $36.5 million for CUNY. While these additions were not vetoed, the final disposition of these monies is unclear at this time.

  3. Independent Colleges and Universities

    This year the Legislature rejected the Executive’s proposed five percent reduction to the Higher Education Opportunity Program. Keeping its commitment to help disadvantaged students gain access to private colleges, the legislature provided $2.2 million to fully restore state support to 2003-2004 levels.

    Bundy Aid

    Bundy Aid, formally known as Unrestricted Aid to Independent Colleges and Universities, provides direct support to higher education institutions based on the number and type of degrees conferred by the college or university.

    New York State is fortunate to have the most diversified and largest independent sector of higher education in the nation. According to the Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities (CICU), in 2001 26 percent of the students enrolled in the independent sector in New York State were minorities. The independent colleges and universities of this State enroll 440,522 students. New York not only boasts the nation’s largest private university, New York University, it also prides itself on numerous outstanding small colleges as well.

    In many instances across the State, a college or university is the major employer in the community. Therefore, a strong independent sector of higher education helps the New York economy in several respects: through educating its work force, as an employer, and through the ancillary services in the community that cater to the student and staff population. Independent campuses throughout New York State have a collective annual economic impact of $40.2 billion, employ 131,000 New Yorkers and have a $6 billion payroll.

    This year, for the first time ever, the Assembly and Senate approved legislation for a program which would provide funding to private colleges and universities. The Higher Education Capital Matching Grants Program would provide $350 million in funding for capital projects at both public and private colleges and universities in New York State. All applications for projects would be reviewed and approved, based on certain criteria, by a three member board. Funds would be allocated to SUNY, CUNY and Independent campuses based on a formula, requiring public colleges to provide a 1-1 match and private colleges to have a 3-1 match. This program would have provided funding for projects in the areas of economic development, technology and urban renewal. Additionally, funding would be provided for critical maintenance at academic facilities. This program, which had overwhelming support in both houses, was vetoed by the Governor.

  4. Financial Aid

    Tuition Assistance Program

    New York State is fortunate to have the most comprehensive system of financial aid in the United States. At the forefront is the Tuition Assistance Program (TAP), which assists thousands of students attending college each year.

    The Assembly Higher Education Committee is committed to keeping college affordable for students. The 2000 Assembly budget contained several comprehensive enhancements to the TAP Program, including increases in both maximum and minimum awards and the increase of income eligibility to $80,000. Unfortunately, rather than seeking to build upon this foundation, the Executive proposed a restructuring of the Program that was coupled with a $302 million cut. Fortunately, the program emerged from the budget process unscathed.

    The Assembly again rejected the restructuring proposal, which was first presented in the 2002-2003 budget. The proposal would have slashed one-third of each student’s award, forcing many of those least able to afford increased debt to seek additional loans. Furthermore, the proposal would have had the State retain one-third of each award to be payable upon graduation as a "performance award."

    Access Programs

    Access to higher education opportunities has been a long-standing concern of this Committee. Over the years, the Legislature has created programs which provide special assistance to educationally and economically disadvantaged students, underrepresented groups, and "at-risk" youth -- students who require additional support in order to achieve academic success. The Assembly has been committed to ensuring all students access to higher education and enhancing their academic success through the support of access programs.

    Through counseling, remedial coursework, financial assistance, drop-out prevention, and skills training, these programs are dedicated not only to encouraging enrollment in college, but also helping to ensure success in the postsecondary academic environment. New York’s Access Programs include:

    *The Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP) and Education Opportunity Program (EOP), critical access programs for educationally and economically disadvantaged students who attend independent institutions of higher education. HEOP programs serve approximately 5606 students through 63 programs with support programs including pre-freshman summer programs, remedial and developmental courses, tutoring, and counseling;

    *The Liberty Partnerships Program, serving middle, junior, and senior high school students who are at risk of dropping out, and assisting them in completing high school, preparing for and entering college, and obtaining meaningful employment.;

    *The Teacher Opportunity Corps (TOC), the goal of which is to attract more African-Americans, Hispanics, and Native Americans to the teaching profession and to prepare these individuals to work effectively with students who are at risk of academic failure and dropping out of school. The TOC is also considered to be a model of excellence for teacher education programs.

    *The Science and Technology Entry Program (STEP) and Collegiate-STEP (CSTEP), created to encourage the attendance of more students of underrepresented and economically disadvantaged populations by helping these students to enter collegiate study and careers in scientific, technical, and health-related fields; and

    *The State provides small awards for Native Americans pursuing post-secondary study in New York. This access program offers financial aid to eligible Native Americans and has been critical in addressing the under representation of this population in New York State’s higher education system.

B. Legislative Highlights
  1. Community Colleges

    New York State has 36 public community colleges: 30 within the State University system and six within the City University system. With a total enrollment of 261,769, community colleges provide a primary source of access to higher education opportunities. The community colleges of SUNY and CUNY are referred to as "full opportunity" institutions, accepting all recent high school graduates and returning residents from the colleges’ sponsorship areas.

    Community colleges are unique in that they are financed cooperatively by three partners: the State, a local sponsor, and the students. Community colleges are primarily governed by the local sponsor, assuring that these institutions have greater flexibility to respond to the local educational needs of their unique student population. Many community college students are non-traditional students who return to college later in life, attend part-time and/or combine work and family responsibilities with study.

    Peace Officers on Community College Campuses

    A.9260, Destito; Chapter 24 of the Laws of 2004; This Chapter amends the existing statute regarding the powers of peace officers on community college campuses. Chapter 689 of the Laws of 2003 had granted peace officers on community college campuses the authority to apply for and execute search and arrest warrants. In New York State, these powers are exclusive to police officers. This amendment removes the provision which would have granted peace officers this authority.

  2. City University of New York

    Founded as the Free Academy in 1847, the City University of New York (CUNY) has grown into the largest urban university in the nation. CUNY is also the third largest university in the country and is comprised of 20 campuses throughout Queens, Brooklyn, Manhattan, the Bronx and Staten Island. It includes eleven senior colleges, a two-year preparatory medical program, a law school, a graduate center, and six community colleges. Through this network, CUNY provides educational opportunities and skills training to an ethnically and culturally diverse population of approximately 219,023 students annually: 146,050 at the senior colleges and 72,973 at the community colleges.

    Tuition Exemption for Members of the New York City Police Department
    A.3266-B, Lentol; Chapter [ ] of the Laws of 2004; This Law directs the Board of Trustees of the City University of New York to promulgate regulations to permit members of the New York City Police Department to attend one class, related to their employment, tuition free. This provision, based on a successful pilot program at John Jay College, seeks to provide an incentive for police officers to pursue higher education.

    Peace Officers on CUNY Campuses
    A.11619, Cusick; Chapter 664 of the Laws of 2004; This Law seeks to grant the Board of Trustees of the City University of New York the power to designate campus officers as peace officers. Currently, campus officers at CUNY must obtain peace officer status through the Special Patrol Program administered by the City of New York. This process is lengthy, and often takes months to complete. CUNY has developed an expedited training program that meets the same requirements as the NYPD Special Patrol Program.

  3. State University of New York

    The State University of New York is the largest public university system in the nation, embracing 64 distinct individual campuses located in urban, suburban and rural communities across New York State. These 64 campuses offer a full range of academic, professional and vocational programs through their university centers, comprehensive colleges, colleges of technology, and community colleges. The State University system enrolls approximately 413,000 students in over 6,688 programs of study.

    Guidelines for Not-For-Profit Museums to Acquire Abandoned Property
    A.1200-A, Brodsky; Veto 277; This bill would have required that not for profit museums follow certain guidelines when seeking to acquire title to abandoned property. Additionally, the bill would have authorized museums to use the proceeds from the sale of a collection for operating expenses and to incur expenses for the purposes of conserving a collection. The Governor vetoed this legislation, citing concerns that such legislation would deprive Holocaust victims of the right to recover artifacts that were stolen or lost during the Holocaust.

    Bias-Related Crime on Campus
    A.10001, Canestrari; Chapter 75 of the Laws of 2004; This Chapter recodifies existing law dealing with bias-related crime on campus. Chapter 590 of the Laws of 2003 required that bias crime prevention information be distributed at all college campuses. Without this legislation, this statute would have been inadvertently repealed by Chapter 597 of the Laws of 2003. Additionally, this law requires that each campus file a certificate of compliance and a copy of all written rules with the State Education Department.

    Student Representative on the Board of the Higher Education Services Corporation
    A.10331, Lifton; Chapter 653 of the Laws of 2004; Seeking to improve student representation on the Board, this law replaces the president of the State University Student Association with the president of the State University Student Assembly as a member on the Higher Education Services Corporation Board of Trustees.

    Regents Award for Children of Deceased and Disabled Veterans
    A.10427, Hoyt; Chapter 547 of the Laws of 2004; This Law clarifies the eligibility requirements for New York State’s "Child of a Veteran Award". Current law does not specify whether step-children of qualified veterans whose biological parents are still alive are eligible to receive benefits. Consequently, the law has been interpreted to deem these children ineligible. This provision includes dependents of a qualified step-parent, even if the child’s biological parent is still living.


A. Legislative Highlights

New York State currently licenses 44 professions under Title VIII of the Education Law. Legislation to license a new profession or to alter the practice of an existing profession falls under the jurisdiction of the Committee on Higher Education. SED, through its Office of the Professions, regulates the practice of such professions on an ongoing basis.

An essential component of the monitoring process is to ensure that existing standards and qualifications reflect current practices and needs, especially in light of shifting demographics and rapidly changing technologies. Each year, the Committee reviews numerous pieces of legislation which propose to change the scope of practice of currently licensed professions. Modifying current professional standards provide a means by which the Committee fulfills its obligation to protect the well-being of the public.

Dental Residency Program
A.6065-B, DiNapoli; Chapter 76 of the Laws of 2004; This Law requires the completion of a general practice or specialty dental residency program in order to fulfill the experience requirement for licensure. This amendment allows for a dental residency to fulfill the experience requirements for licensure in lieu of a clinical examination. Previous law provided for, but did not require, the dental residency to be considered as part of the experience requirement. Furthermore, this law specifies that applicants must pass a written examination.

Prior Disciplinary History
A.7515, Aubertine; Chapter 239 of the Laws of 2004; This Law seeks to enhance the protection of the public by allowing an applicant’s prior disciplinary history in another jurisdiction to be considered during the application process for professional licensure. Previously, the Board of Regents and the State Education Department were prohibited from considering an applicant’s prior negligent or incompetent conduct, which occurred in a different state. This provision allows the Department to screen out applicants early in the licensure process.

Practice of Social Work
A.9102-A, Pretlow; Chapter 230 of the Laws of 2004; This Chapter makes technical changes to Chapter 420 of the Laws of 2002, which dealt with the licensure of Social Workers. This law replaces references to "certified social worker" with "licensed clinical" or "licensed master" social worker. Additionally, this Chapter will grandfather in existing limited liability companies that employ social workers and establishes a sunset date for such provisions.

Access to Instructional Materials for Students with Disabilities
A.9837, Stringer; Chapter 28 of the Laws of 2004; This Chapter clarifies the provisions of Chapter 219 of the Laws of 2003, the purpose of which was to ensure that students with disabilities would have full access to instructional materials used in colleges and universities in New York State. This law defines instructional materials to include only those materials written and published by commercial publishers. Additionally, the law requires that students using such instructional materials comply with federal copyright law.

Administration of Medication in Day Care Settings
A.10125, Paulin; Chapter 20 of the Laws of 2004; This Chapter delays the effective date of Chapter 253 of the Laws of 2003 which authorized certain child care providers to administer medication to children in their care. It was determined that the original effective date of April 1, 2004 did not allow enough time to properly educate and train day care personnel to administer medication. This Chapter remedies this problem by extending the effective date to January 31st, 2005.

Licensure Fees for Mental Heath Practitioners
A.11258, Sanders; Chapter 210 of the Laws of 2004; This Chapter makes technical changes to Chapter 676 of the Laws of 2002 which dealt with the licensure of mental health practitioners. This law corrects certain terminology used in the original chapter. Additionally, this law provides an additional year for limited permits for mental health counselors due to the significant number of hours needed to fulfill the experience requirement.

Licensure Fees for Mental Heath Practitioners
A.11258, Sanders; Chapter 210 of the Laws of 2004; This Chapter makes technical changes to Chapter 676 of the Laws of 2002 which dealt with the licensure of mental health practitioners. This law corrects certain terminology used in the original chapter. Additionally, this law provides an additional year for limited permits for mental health counselors due to the significant number of hours needed to fulfill the experience requirement.

Clinical Laboratory Practitioners
A.8094-B, Canestrari; Chapter [ ] of the Laws of 2004; This Chapter provides for licensure and certification of persons who perform clinical testing and other duties in a clinical laboratory setting. The law defines the practice of "clinical laboratory technology" and "clinical laboratory technology practitioner". Furthermore, the law establishes the titles of "clinical laboratory technologists", "clinical laboratory technicians" and "cytotechnologists". The law also contains a grandfathering provision for certain individuals currently performing such duties.

Clinical Laboratory Practitioner Licensure Exemption
A.11649, Gottfried; Chapter 524 of the Laws of 2004; This Chapter includes the practice of midwifery as one of the professions that is exempt from the requirements for licensure as a clinical laboratory practitioner. Current law permits persons who practice midwifery to perform clinical lab work. This provision will add midwives to the list of exempt persons so that they may continue to perform laboratory services for their patients without licensure as a clinical lab practitioner.

Practice of Interior Design
A.8587-B, Canestrari; Veto Number 253; This bill would have required all persons who wish to use the title "interior designer" to successfully complete certain education and experience requirements. Current law requires that persons using the title "certified interior designer" meet the specifications for certification. The Governor vetoed this legislation citing concerns that this bill was duplicative as the current statute already provides an effective method for interior designers to distinguish themselves.

Mandatory Continuing Education for Architects
A.11051-A, Canestrari; Chapter 706 of the Laws of 2004; This Law allows 12 of the 36 hours of mandatory continuing education for architects to consist of non-course activities. Such non-course activities may include online classes and other forms of distance learning, which will enable professionals to meet the requirements more efficiently. This law is consistent with the continuing education requirements of other design professionals.

Accreditation of Residency Requirements for the Practice of Dentistry
A.11666, DiNapoli; Chapter 726 of the Laws of 2004; This Law allows for the State Education Department to approve the accrediting body for the dental residency requirement for professional licensure. The original law specified that the American Dental Association’s Commission on Dental Accreditation be the accrediting body. This provision also provides more flexibility to the State Education Department in approving residency sites.


The Impact of the Governor’s Vetoes on Higher Education

October 14, 2004
11:00 A.M.

October 19, 2004
10:00 A.M.

October 20, 2004
11:00 A.M.

October 21, 2004
11:00 A.M.

October 26, 2004
10:00 A.M.

This year the Assembly and the Senate, in a bipartisan effort, restored funding in excess of $320 million for higher education programs in New York State. Unfortunately, the Governor vetoed most of these programs. These hearings were convened in an effort to gather information on the effect of these vetoes on higher education. With over eighty witnesses, these hearings were extremely well attended and offered testimony demonstrating the impact of the Governor’s vetoes.

For example, in Plattsburgh, the Presidents of North Country Community College and Clinton County Community College expressed concerns that the decrease in base aid will prevent them from expanding and maintaining services in their communities. In rural areas of the State, such as the North Country, these community colleges are often the only accessible providers of higher education. Agnes Grant, the director of the Liberty Partnership Program of the Associated Colleges of the St. Lawrence Valley, described how the five percent cut in funding would force her to reduce services for students including tutoring and mentoring programs.

Representatives from both SUNY and CUNY testified at the hearing in Kingston and described the consequences in other parts of the state. Barbara Bowen, President of the Professional Staff Congress of CUNY, discussed how the governor’s cuts will prevent CUNY from addressing the need for an increase in full-time faculty. Furthermore, Dr. Bowen described how the vetoes would deny critical maintenance funding for schools such as New York City College of Technology and the Borough of Manhattan Community College. The Vice President for Student Affairs at SUNY New Paltz, L. David Rooney, testified as to the effect of the loss of ten million dollars in funding for a new student union. The group of NYPIRG students in attendance echoed Mr. Rooney’s sentiments, describing the student union as a vital component of the New Paltz campus.

Several representatives shared their perspective from the independent sector and testified at the hearing in Watertown. Michael Archibald, Vice President for University Advancement at St. Lawrence University, and Robert Wood, Director of Government Relations at Clarkson University, described how the five-percent cut to opportunity programs will affect the HEOP programs at their schools. Furthermore, both Mr. Archibald and Mr. Wood described how the Higher Education Capital Matching Grants Program, also vetoed by the Governor, would have provided opportunities for economic development in their communities.

In Rochester, several participants expressed concerns regarding the cuts to capital funding. Representatives from each sector, including Dr. John Martin, President of Roberts Wesleyan College, and Dr. Melva Brown, Executive Director of the Rochester Educational Opportunity Center, discussed how these vetoes will prohibit them from making critical capital improvements to their facilities. Echoing these concerns was Frank Wirt, President of the Rochester Buildings and Construction Trades Council, who testified that the cuts to capital funding will result in fewer construction jobs in the Greater Rochester area.

With over twenty-five participants testifying to the impact downstate, the hearing in Holbrook was by far the largest. George Gatta, Vice President for Workforce and Economic Development of Suffolk County Community College, testified as to the effect of the cuts to community college base aid and how state funding fails to keep pace with increasing enrollment. Other participants included Dr. Martha Bell, Chair of Opportunity Programs United, who described how the five percent cut to opportunity programs will require programs such as SEEK to decrease tutorial and instruction services.

The testimony provided at each of these hearings will assist the Committee in its fight to make higher education affordable, and accessible, throughout New York State.


As the Committee looks ahead to the upcoming 2005 Legislative Session, many of the traditional goals relative to higher education and the professions will continue to have precedence.

Foremost among the Committee’s priorities for the 2005 session will be, despite the austere fiscal climate, to secure financing for the coming fiscal year sufficient to meet the needs of SUNY, CUNY and the independent sector and to support their unique missions. The broader goal of preserving access opportunities to higher education for students all across New York State is also critical. By continuing to fight for increased funding for access programs, the Committee will promote the recognition of these highly successful educational services. Another priority of the committee will be to provide capital funding for SUNY and CUNY as well as the independent sector. Campuses throughout the state are in desperate need of funding for critical maintenance as well as the expansion of academic and residence facilities. As always, the Committee will continue to focus on TAP and ensure the availability of the program at current or enhanced levels. The Assembly Higher Education Committee is proud of this comprehensive financial aid program and will fight to continue its success in opening doors to college students throughout the State.

In 2005, the Committee will also address several important legislative issues. Among these will be measures relating to the forty-four licensed professions overseen by the Department of Education’s Office of the Professions. Chief among these will be initiatives aimed at preserving the integrity of the individual professions and ensuring that professional competence translates into increased public protection and safety. In this regard, we will continue to pursue increased funding for the Office of the Professions to proceed with investigations of unlicensed practice of professions, remaining committed to legislation adopted in 2003 providing greater authority to pursue illegal practice. In addition, the Committee will continue to study the evolution of existing professions to assess the possible need for statutory changes to reflect the changing needs of consumers.


Professions Licensed or Certified by the Board of Regents

Athletic Trainer
Certified Dietician
Certified Interior Design
Certified Nutritionist
Certified Public Accountancy
Certified Shorthand Reporting
Dental Assisting
Dental Hygiene
Dietetics and Nutrition
Landscape Architecture
Land Surveying
Licensed Practical Nurse
Medical Physician
Medical Physics
Mental Health Practitioners
Occupational Therapy
Occupational Therapy Assistant
Ophthalmic Dispensing
Physical Therapy
Physical Therapy Assistant
Physician Assistant
Public Accountancy
Registered Nursing
Respiratory Therapy
Respiratory Therapy Assistant
Specialist’s Assistant
Social Work
Speech-Language Pathology
Veterinary Medicine
Veterinary Technology



Summary of Action on All Bills Referred to the Committee on Higher Education

Final Action Assembly
Bills Reported With or Without Amendment
To Floor; not returning to Committee 7 0 7
To Floor; recommitted and died      
To Ways and Means Committee 13 0 13
To Codes Committee 10 0 10
To Rules Committee 13 0 13
To Judiciary Committee 1 0 1
Total 44 0 44
Bills Having Committee Reference Changed
To Education Committee 2 0 2
Total 2 0 2
Senate Bills Substituted or Recalled
Substituted   11 11
Recalled   0 0
Total   11 11
Bills Defeated in Committee      
Bills Never Reported, Held in Committee      
Bills Never Reported, Died in Committee 267 32 299
Bills Having Enacting Clauses Stricken 1 0 1
Motion to Discharge Lost 0 0 0
Total Bills in Committee 314 43 357
Total Number of Committee Meetings Held 8