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Hochul announces $123 million for Binghamton University in state budget

Phoebe Taylor-Vuolo
New York Governor Kathy Hochul traveled to Binghamton University to announce $123 million in state budget funding for maintenance and upgrades to the university's facilities.

 New York Governor Kathy Hochul visited Binghamton University Friday to highlight funding put aside in this year’s budget for schools, universities and communities in the Southern Tier.

Binghamton University will receive $123 million in funding for maintenance and upgrades to its facilities. That includes $60 million for a new lecture hall, classroom and chemistry lab building, as well as $22 million to renovate the university’s fine arts building.

“We want to attract more professors and welcome more students to these programs,” Hochul said. “So it's an important investment, it’s one of the largest investments we're making in the SUNY system. But this is such an important anchor for this region, we want to make sure that all the buildings are first class.”

Hochul said overall, universities and colleges in the region will see tens of millions of dollars in state budget funding this year.

She said the 2024 budget also puts aside $1.4 billion in school aid for the Southern Tier. Proposed changes to school funding formulas in Hochul’s budget have angered school officials and educators across the state, who say it does not properly account for inflation and amounts to millions of dollars in cuts to aid. But Hochul said the Southern Tier would see a $10 million increase in funding, and shot back against critics of her school funding plan.

“Can we have an honest conversation about education, and the fact that because of money from Washington and the state, our school districts— thank God we love our school districts—are sitting on $10 billion in reserves right now across the state?” Hochul said. “So you may have gotten $5 million in one year to make up for the past. And if I don't give you $5 million again, you think it's a cut?”

Hochul said the 2024 budget contains over $92 million in infrastructure investment in the Southern Tier, and nearly $85 million for health care capital projects in the region.

She also announced that Roxbury and Grand Gorge, two small hamlets in Delaware County, will receive a $10 million grant from the latest round of the state’s Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI) awards.

Lieutenant Governor Antonio Delgado visited the town of Owego in Tioga County Wednesday to announce the completion of a nearly $700,000 project to renovate a blighted building downtown, funded in part by a DRI award in 2018.

Hochul said in Broome and Chemung counties, two new projects to create “shovel-ready” sites for new technology and manufacturing businesses will receive a total of $12 million in state funds.

“I want people to know that we're building a high-tech ecosystem right here,” Hochul said. “As rural as this looks, this is where innovators have come before, planted the flag and changed the trajectory of this region.”

The state budget is due April 1. Hochul said it could be late this year, due to the Easter holiday falling on that weekend.