ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10)–On Thursday at the Capitol, advocates called on state lawmakers to include more funding for higher education in the state budget.

Some of the governor’s proposals include $270 million in new operating support and $1.5 billion in new capital projects for SUNY and CUNY Campuses.

Andy Pallota, President of New York State United Teachers union would like to see an increase of $4.5 billion dollars for higher education in the final state budget.

“We need to fully fund our education system— our public higher education system because, in reality, it gives us liberty,” said Joshua Chan, UAlbany Student and member of SUNY Student Assembly

Chan said he wants the state legislature to allow TAP to be expanded to cover other expenses besides tuition as well as an increase in TAP eligibility.

Senator Andrew Gounardes sponsors legislation called the New Deal for CUNY, which would move CUNY to a tuition-free model and increase the ratio of faculty and mental health councilors for full-time students.

“We are here to say with one voice loud and united, that we do not want to go home from this budget,” said Gounardes. “We will not go back to our districts, we will not stop until we have a fully funded state university system and city university system and we get the New Deal for higher education that we deserve!”

This legislation has been introduced and is currently in committee. The final state budget is due April 1st.