Ra: SUNY 2020 Will Retain Local Talent, Make LI A Tech Generator

Assemblyman Ed Ra (far right) joined Governor Andrew Cuomo and SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher (seated) on Wednesday, December 14, 2011, for the signing of SUNY 2020 legislation to enhance educational opportunities at SUNY Stony Brook and create jobs locally.

Assemblyman Ed Ra (21st Assembly District) today joined Governor Andrew Cuomo and fellow Long Island lawmakers at State University of New York (SUNY) Stony Brook for the signing of SUNY 2020 legislation, which will bring $194 million to Long Island in an effort to revitalize the economy and create jobs locally. The signed legislation will bring more than 6,000 new jobs to Stony Brook through medical faculty, infrastructure improvements, private partnerships, and research grants. Ra, who recently toured the Stony Brook campus Medical Center and Research and Development Center, noted that this funding will allow Long Island to become a model for focused economic development, while maintaining affordability for its students and enhancing the quality of education.

“I supported SUNY 2020 on behalf of our community because it works to strengthen our SUNY system through investments in health care, technology, local students, and the world-class education offered,” said Ra. “This is an opportunity for SUNY to build partnerships with the local community and keep our leaders of tomorrow here on Long Island.

“A top priority of mine since I was elected has been working to make our community aware of the tremendous higher education opportunities in Long Island. Not only does today’s announcement enhance those opportunities, but works to keep talent local and make Long Island a thriving economic engine.”

Ra singled out the Medical and Research Translation (MART) building that SUNY Stony Brook will be constructing, noting this alone will bring 1,900 construction jobs and 2,300 indirect construction-related jobs. Ra noted that the $35 million challenge grant along with $150 million from the Department of Mathematics Chairman Emeritus James Simons and his wife, Marilyn, will allow this dreamed-about project to become a reality.

The NYSUNY 2020 Challenge Grant Program – a joint program between the Governor and SUNY – incentivizes bottom-up, individualized, long-term economic development plans on SUNY campuses and the surrounding communities. The new rational tuition program replaces decades of unpredictable and sudden tuition hikes, allowing students and parents to better plan for college expenses.

“I would like to thank Governor Cuomo, SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher, SUNY Stony Brook President Dr. Samuel L. Stanley, Jr., and all of our community leaders for their commitment to enhance the mission of our SUNY system and create jobs right here in our backyard.”