Facing flat funding, SUNY and CUNY activists, students, and union leaders are fighting for more money.
Governor Andrew Cuomo's proposed budget keeps funding for the state's universities and colleges flat.
Union leaders say, state aid for SUNY, CUNY, and other state's community colleges has not kept up with costs.
"Over the last four years, higher education has lost $1.7 billion dollars in funding and so here we are," Phil Smith, UUP President, said.
At the same time, enrollment continues to grow, which has many pushing lawmakers for more funding.
Both the Senate and the Assembly seem receptive to the idea, with both Houses proposing an extra $125 per community college student in their budgets.
Lobbyists are also pressuring lawmakers to pass the Dream Act, which would help children of illegal immigrants get access to public tuition assistance.
It has support in the Assembly, but it's unlikely to be taken up by the Senate.