Gov. Kathy Hochul announced her Fiscal Year 2024 New York State Executive Budget proposal at UB’s North Campus on Monday. During her visit, Hochul highlighted funding allocated toward UB and the City of Buffalo.
Hochul announced in a speech at the Center for Tomorrow that she plans to allocate $100 million to UB for new and renovated research buildings, laboratories and state-of-the-art instrumentation. The announcement follows her previous goal to get UB $1 billion in research funding by 2030.
The budget proposal allocates an additional $24 million to help upkeep UB maintenance projects and to make sure all facilities remain “top notch.”
UB currently has $605 million in deferred maintenance costs, according to UB’s 2022-23 Operating Budget Report.
“I’m looking forward to realizing my dream and your dream of this being a true flagship institution for the state of New York,” Hochul said to UB President Satish Tripathi during her speech.
Hochul also drew attention to last year’s launch of a $102 million project for a new engineering building. The state will provide $68 million of that funding.
“As one of SUNY’s flagship universities, we are investing in the University at Buffalo to make it a world-class research institution to create an ecosystem of technology and advancement,” Hochul said in a June 2022 press release announcing the project.
The 2024 budget will also grant $1 billion in aid to help transform the New York mental health care system.
“Another way to make our community safe is to deal with the specter of mental illness,” Hochul said. “There’s a lot of people left on our streets or outside of the system of support. We’ve been ignoring these needs for far too long, and I’ve just declared that the error of ignoring these individuals is over.”
In her speech, Hochul also encouraged students to consider pursuing a degree in engineering at UB. In October, Hochul announced New York State’s partnership with Micron Technology to build the largest semiconductor manufacturing facility in the U.S. in Central New York, with the goal of creating 50,000 jobs throughout the state.
“You know how many engineers I promised Micron to come here? A lot,” Hochul said. “So if you know anybody who is not sure what they want to do, have them come to UB and become an engineer because I need to hire them for Micron very, very soon.”
Hochul also discussed hopes to “boost preparation for storm emergency response,” allocating $10 million of her proposed budget to the City of Buffalo to create a public works and storm recovery building.
Hochul said she is aiming to improve and support various other initiatives in Buffalo with her proposed budget, including increased housing, addiction support, veteran services, gun violence prevention and mental health. She also mentioned plans to revitalize buildings like the Boulevard Mall.
“I believe we can do it,” Hochul said about efforts to gain approval of her 2024 budget proposal. “There’s so many different ways we could achieve this, and if we do this, there’s no stopping us. There’s absolutely no stopping us.”
Victoria Hill is a senior news editor for The Spectrum and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
A.J. Franklin is an assistant features editor for The Spectrum and can be reached at email@example.com